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To: Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry, Warwickshire Council and CSM Sport and Entertainment

Cancel VELO Birmingham and West Midlands on 28 June 2020 and do something better

Cancel VELO Birmingham and West Midlands on 28 June 2020 and do something better

What are you doing on Sunday June 28th 2020? - looks like someone is trying to force that decision for you. It has also been rumoured that this is planned to take place for the next 3 years. Take action so this isn't the case, by asking Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry Council to refuse permission for this cycling event in its current form - which is owned and managed by CSM Sport and Entertainment, which is NOT a charity.

Velo is proposed for height of the Summer on 28 June 2020, closing 100 miles of roads across the West Midlands for the majority of daylight hours (04.45am - 19.00pm, and with other restrictions from midnight the day before). Which will again trap people in their own homes, and see a repeat of last year’s disorganised chaos.

This petition will be presented to the leaders of Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire and Coventry Councils and CSM Sport and Entertainment / Velo itself, to request that the event is cancelled in its current form, as it has been previously in the North, South and Worcester.

This petition will also outline the risks and issues associated with this event so that in the event of a serious incident attributed to the road closures, should the event be given permission, the Councils' involved and CSM / Velo cannot use the excuse that they were unaware of the potential consequences as a defence, should any legal challenges be issued.

Please sign before 3 February 2020.

It will help if as well as signing the petition, you include additional information when possible, so please use the comments box to record your experiences particularly / effects on health and safety / poor treatment that you have received at the hands of CSM and the Velo event team.

And of course, share as widely as you can!

Why is this important?

A big bike ride is a lovely idea but not when it involves a large corporation telling thousands of people that they have to be restricted in their movements for the majority of the day and that there is nothing they can do about it.

Velo is proposed for height of the Summer on 28 June 2020, closing 100 miles of roads across the West Midlands for the majority of daylight hours (04.45am - 19.00pm, and with other restrictions from midnight the day before).

CSM Sport and Entertainment is a private global company which will charge 19000 Riders between £70 - £120 to take part. Some riders may raise their own sponsorship for charity which is of course, admirable, but it could be argued that cyclists would be better taking part in the many events across the UK where all money raised, including entry fees, goes to charity and doesn’t close roads all day / impose restrictions on others

What happened last year and why you should be concerned:

• Many residents were trapped in their own homes as many closed roads were their only exit and entry points, with no diversion route / alternative available. Some people were trapped in their homes for over 13 hours. Public transport was also suspended for most of the day.

• Home help and visiting carers were prevented from delivering food, hydration and medication as part of routine care plans; a vet was refused access to a premises because of road closures, leading to the death of two horses. Many people were prevented from travel to work and some were stranded at Birmingham International Airport and train station and couldn't return home for hours.

• Previous proposals for this event have prompted grave concern from local ambulance services and previous events / event routes have been cancelled.

• As per previous Velo mass road closures, levels of frustration have resulted in sabotage, with nails and razor blades being put on roads, and people trying to break through barriers, which is a risk to public safety and potentially causes a waste of police time.

• In addition to stress anxiety and inconvenience, the Velo event can also have a negative effect on communities, many of which have to shelve their own plans for community events and suspend the operation of small businesses, particularly on the new proposed mid-summer date.

Your rights compromised:

It is highly unlikely that this event is compliant with the Equality Act 2010 in relation to disability and the denying of physical access for some in and out of their homes and to access services on the day. Signs prior to the event, blocked pavements in some areas for the 2019 event (pictured).

Last year's event was not only an unwelcome intrusion to a large amount of people, forced to put up with it, but has been seen by many trapped for the day as an infringement of civil liberties and a danger to health and safety.

No one asked communities what they want:

Many of you will no doubt have read about this via third-party sources as opposed to being notified or consulted with directly. There has been no consultation with those living along the route, with Velo instead relying on a third party leaflet drop (which in the past missed out many people, who weren't aware of road closures when a Velo event was attempted previously) which tells people that the road will be closed and residents vehicles may be towed away from outside their homes - which is a little harsh for anyone who doesn’t have a driveway.

It doesn’t have to be like this:

Much of this could be avoided by CSM / Velo working out a route which doesn't trap people in their own homes / only routing past homes where residents have an alternative access road to get in and out as they wish (other than on foot).

The benefits and the real cost:

The benefits of Velo have mainly been promoted along economic lines, yes there may have been a spike in hotel bookings in Birmingham and Coventry City Centre, but this seems to be totally at the expense of the wellbeing of many people along the route.

Velo and your Council’s accountability:

Despite being contacted, Velo is remaining silent at the time of writing as per the exact route for 2020, and have stated that they will know in around 5 weeks. Last year despite a request they also failed to make available their evacuation plan for communities that were locked-down for the day.

The aim of this petition and who it will be sent to:

This petition will be presented to the leaders of Birmingham, Solihull, Warwickshire and Coventry Councils and Velo itself, to request that the event is cancelled in its current form, as it has been previously in the North, South and Worcester.

This petition will also outline the risks and issues associated with this event, should the event be given permission, so that in the event of a serious incident attributed to the road closures, the Councils' involved and CSM / Velo cannot use the excuse that they were unaware of the potential consequences as a defence, should any legal challenges be issued.

Please sign before 3 February 2020, so that this can be submitted in good time.

It will help if as well as signing the petition, you include additional information when possible, so please use the comments box to record your experiences particularly / effects on health and safety / poor treatment that you have received at the hands of CSM and the Velo event team.

And of course, share as widely as you can!

West Midlands

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL

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Reasons for signing

  • I'm a keen cyclist, so it hurts a little to sign it, but there was far too much disruption, to far too many people. I personally knew of someone that took over an hour longer than usual getting to a dying relative and a kids sporting event that was close to ruined. I know of about a dozen people that were significantly inconvenienced. For such a long event, i have no idea why they used and were allowed to use, such busy roads. "do something better"!
  • Husband works in Birmingham city and it was a nightmare for him this year.
  • The last event was a nightmare. The planning was poor, there were no diversions or information at the road closures, large areas of the country were cut off isolating many people, and it interfered with other events which were being held near by and must have had a massive negative impact on those organisations. Closing some of the busiest roads in large towns with no way past for miles and miles – unbelievable!

Updates

2019-08-29 08:02:58 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2019-08-14 17:41:27 +0100

500 signatures reached

2019-08-01 16:12:47 +0100

100 signatures reached

2019-07-29 20:54:54 +0100

50 signatures reached

2019-07-26 10:22:46 +0100

25 signatures reached

2019-07-26 00:54:13 +0100

10 signatures reached