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Disruption during Tour of Britain was ‘unavoidable’, councils claim

PUBLISHED: 16:56 12 September 2017

The sprint finish in Aldeburgh. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

The sprint finish in Aldeburgh. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Council bosses have apologised after complaints were raised about disruption caused by a major cycling race in Suffolk – adding that the event was enjoyed by thousands of people across the county.

Hotelier Michael Pritt, owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN Hotelier Michael Pritt, owner of The Wentworth in Aldeburgh. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Suffolk County Council (SCC) and Suffolk Coastal District Council (SCDC) issued the joint statement in response to comments made by the owner of a hotel in Aldeburgh, where stage six of the Tour of Britain finished on Friday.

As reported yesterday, Michael Pritt slammed the organisation of the Tour as an “absolute shambles” after guests at the Wentworth Hotel were wrongly turfed out and told to clear the street of their vehicles.

He claimed that despite being sent a street plan showing unrestricted parking outside the hotel, staff had arrived to find police, a tow truck and a traffic management team outside.

Mr Pritt also said his guests had been “rudely awakened” by the sound of truck engines running while crews unloaded barriers, which they placed in front of the entrance to the hotel car park.

Elsewhere along the Tour’s route, which set off from Newmarket before passing through towns including Mildenhall, Bury St Edmunds, Framlingham and Woodbridge, people have complained about the litter left behind.

Council leaders acknowledged the event brought some disruption, but claimed that overall it had been a success.

The statement issued by SCC and SCDC read: “Residents and businesses were given advanced warning of the event as well as the fact there would be some disruption as part of the event.

“As soon as the traffic management team were made aware of the issues highlighted by Mr Pritt every effort was made to rectify them as quickly as possible and we apologise for that – however some noise and disruption is unavoidable as part of the set-up of bringing a world-class cycling event such as the Tour of Britain to Suffolk.

“We appreciate not everyone will feel the immediate benefits of Suffolk hosting the Tour, but overall the tens of thousands of people lining the route to cheer on the riders and welcome them at both the start and finish illustrates just how popular and well received the event is – which can only help to promote Suffolk to an international audience as a vibrant and attractive place to visit.”

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