Open letter to Leeds city Council & Yorkshire Evening post
Saturday, 16 April 2016
Leeds City Council
Dear Sir or Madam:
As a little bit of background I’m a triathlete if nine years and have raced at various levels across Europe seeing some amazing towns & cities and experiencing some amazing levels of race organisation fully integrated into the city with closed roads and amazing race day experiences. By day I am a project manager working for a large multinational corporate, while at the same time I’m director of Triathlonbox a Yorkshire made triathlon product (www.triathlonbox.co.uk), made throughout Yorkshire.
With all that in mind I’m very keen as a resident of Leeds for the last 15 years that we put on an amazing show at the Leeds Triathlon 2016. I have raced London Triathlon (where this race has been for the last four years) and we had a stand at the Expo last year, showing off our Yorkshire made product. I regularly run up and down Street Lane, living in Meanwood area and I do the Roundhay park run normally once a month at least.
The team are very keen that following the success of the Tour De Yorkshire, that I was involved in as much as possible, that we put on a good show and I think that Leeds City council are currently at risk of this not being the case. I know during the Tour there were £100,000 spent on roads – and as an avid cyclist this really has made cycling the route a real joy. But the route of the Leeds triathlon is in a terrible state at the moment, I’m sure you’re aware of it but I really am starting to see through Triathlonbox 10,000 social media following that others are starting to visit the course and are giving it a real slating.
Roads currently dangerous at high speeds
Currently the roads are in a fair to terrible condition and I have done the route this week and enclosed is a rough survey of the roads on the route for you to look over. I’m a building surveyor by trade so bear with me if this is not a standard format for a road survey – but I think it gets the point across that some of the areas on street lane are in a dangerous condition at the moment if you think of the race day experience. The issues range from large deep potholes, poor detailing around man holes on fast downhill sections, large amounts of detritus in the over taking sections of the roads (which can be solved with a road sweeper pre race) & some smaller sections of smaller potholes on fast downhill sections which could cause some terrible accidents for people that don't know the route as well as the Triathlonbox team do.
What people will do is use time trial bikes during the race, where they don’t have easy access to their brakes so they will, when they see pot holes avoid them, which will mean that this will force others, overtaking to react accordingly. There will be waves of triathletes as they leave T1 onto the route and there will be bunches of triathletes over taking on Street Lane where the roads are currently in a very poor condition as you can see form the enclosed photos and plan of the route. Pot holes can cause punctures too on some wheels due to their fragile nature.
I’m very keen for Leeds to put on the best show as this is an Olympic year and the Brownlees are going to want to launch their attack in their back garden. With this in mind would you want the Leeds roads to be the down fall of some amazing chances for gold medals in Rio? I know as a proud adopted Yorkshireman that I’d hate to see all the amazing work that was put into the Tour de Yorkshire to be forgotten by the Triathlon community who are very vocal on social media.
The Triathlonbox team would be very keen to be involved if you need any outside consultants to give feedback on ideas that Leeds city council has had and I’m personally very excited to race round this course and show off the world that Leeds is an amazing place to live, work and play. Which can only be a great thing for Leeds and the region as a whole.
I wish you all the best and as mentioned above please find enclosed photos and plans of the route annotated with areas that really need to be looked at in the coming weeks to get us ready for the 2nd biggest participation event to hit Leeds in some years.
I am currently working on a tourist site for triathletes coming from across Europe and have had calls and emails from across the globe from people coming to the Leeds Triathlon – So if you need to get any information included I’d be happy to share the information for you in the coming weeks and months.