A letter to Louise Goldsmith:
Dear Ms Goldsmith.
On the 7th March 2018 I sent an email regarding the proposed 100 mile closed road event called Velo South, to which you were cc'd. The content (referenced here : https://forum.cyclinguk.org/viewtopic.php?t=120627) made a number of points which now, upon reflection were as pertinent then as they are now. I've Bcc'd the original 184 recipients from my March communication, and have forwarded this email to over three and a half thousand recipients that i've met or interacted with over the last six months on the topic of Velo South. All are keenly awaiting your next move - press on with enforcing the return of Velo South, or listen to the people of the county and choose something different?
Since the email I sent in March I have been on the most fantastic journey through this county and its communities. I've been into people's homes, social hangouts, places of worship and their busineses. I have learnt a lot about our county. I have also networked through the sports marketing world to learn the landscape.
The output from my journey, from the communities and businesses of West Sussex is very clear: Yes to cycling, yes to an event, yes to balancing needs - no to imposition, closed roads and no to Velo South. The industry's view is also clear in that the design of this event - the format of a 100 mile amateur closed road sportive - does not further, promote or encourage the progression of cycling as an activity or sport. Nor does it necessarily benefit local economies.
Now, to the future.
You said on the 20th July during a council session (during which Dr Kate O' Kelly's motion on Velo South was proposed): "We are open for engagement, we are open for the economy and we're open for people and we will celebrate that, we will work with people who want to highlight all the best things in West Sussex". You also echoed this sentiment in a recent article in the West Sussex County Times.
Therefore, given your words, I would like to request a meeting with you to discuss a cycling framework and event product that we as a community have developed over the last few months as an alternative to CSM Active's Velo South. This event has been designed by members of West Sussex communities in partnership with a sports agency and production company and would work for residents, businesses and communities - plus offer riders the spectacle of experiencing our beautiful county as always promised. Additionally the format has been ratified by industry stakeholders as being a product that could bring lasting benefit to not only the activity of cycling, but also the county.
I am available over the next few weeks, I look forward to scheduling a meeting.