Wapping and Isle of Dogs set to be cut off as thousands join RideLondon cycle festival
- Credit: Anthony Upton/Prudential RideLondon
Road closures will hit a large swathe of East London with Wapping and the whole Isle of Dogs ‘trapped’ by Sunday’s annual London-to-Surrey cycle race.
A two-day RideLondon festival starts Saturday, attracting thousands of cyclists passing through Poplar, Shadwell and Tower Hill en route for central London in the largest mass participation cycling event ever held in Britain.
There are no local closures on Saturday. The closures are on Sunday between 4am and 11.45am along the East India Dock tunnel, A13 Newham Way westbound, Aspen Way, Limehouse Link tunnel, The Highway, East Smithfield, Minories and Tower Hill.
“We’ll do everything to minimise the disruption be caused by road closures,” Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs promised. “This event is for those who want to take part in a fun more competitive way.”
Drivers are being advised to avoid the route. Buses are on diversion or are finishing early.
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The Prudential organisers admit that access to Wapping and the Isle of Dogs “will be extremely difficult” because of the closures.
They have set up a Ride London helpdesk for specific access for social care, medical visits, weddings or other planning needs, on 020-7902 0212 from 9am to 5pm weekdays, 5am-7pm on the weekend.
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The festival starts with Saturday’s “family friendly” FreeCycle from 9am to 4pm for all ages and abilities on an eight-mile traffic-free loop through central London.
A guided cycle ride is also planned at an easy pace for beginners, from the Green Bridge at Mile End at 10am covering three-and-a-half miles to Leadenhall Market in the City, the return starting 3pm.
Sunday is the big race when 25,000 take on the 100-mile RideLondon-Surrey challenge on closed roads, with another 46-mile challenge from east to west London. Both races begin at the Olympic Park in Stratford, passing through Poplar, Shadwell and Tower Hill en route.