World record bicycle attempt cancelled due to red tape
A WORLD record attempt for the longest ever line of moving bicycles has been cancelled due to "bureaucracy" over road closures.
The attempt would have involved more than 900 cyclists pedalling around Dorking during the Olympic weekend in July.
But the plan has been scrapped after the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (Locog) said the roads would have to be reopened after the Olympic race, then closed again to stage the event.
Artist Amanda Loomes, who had been leading the "Record/Record" project, said: "It's a terrible shame for Dorking and the wider Surrey community. The project was an opportunity to make an unusual lasting legacy for the town.
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"Support for the project has been fantastic, uplifting and inspiring. We had more than 100 letters and people's enthusiasm has been really moving.
"I'm sorry we can't deliver and we're letting them down, but we couldn't have tried harder.
"The decision is out of our hands."
Just last week the team behind the project received £10,000 from Arts Council England, which will now have to be returned.
Ms Loomes had planned to make a film out of images submitted by participants and spectators.
A spokeswoman for the project said it had been "beaten by bureaucracy", adding: "Amanda may carry on with one aspect of the project.
"She has more than 400 drawings of bikes from the local community and may make a short film."
Mole Valley District Council chief executive Darren Mepham said: "Mole Valley is supporting a number of communities and residents in their preparations for parallel community events that coincide with the race.
"In this instance the council has supported the attempt, on the basis that it could be accommodated within Locog's existing arrangements for the cycle race, using their existing road closure, barriers and safety arrangements.
"We now know that this won't be possible, as Locog require the roads to be reopened before another community-led event can be staged.
"Whilst in theory it would be possible to close the roads again, this is not a practical proposal, and regrettably both Amanda and we have accepted that the record attempt won't be able to go ahead."
Earlier this year, a poll on the council's website found 75 per cent of respondents backed the event.