FEARS have been mounting over impact the Vélo Birmingham cycle race will have on communities as main roads in Halesowen, Cradley, Stourbridge and into South Staffordshire and north Worcestershire are closed to make way for 15,000 riders.

The 100-mile race, which starts and finishes in Birmingham, will see around 5,000 racing cyclists and around 10,000 leisure cyclists taking to the streets on Sunday September 24.

A host of good causes including official race charity partners - the Alzheimer’s Society, NSPCC, Cure Leukaemia and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham Charity - look set to benefit from the fundraising efforts of the many charity riders.

And race organisers, CSM Active, say they have worked extensively to resolve as many issues created by the looming road closures as possible - by devising specific local traffic management plans.

But people living along the route where roads are to be shut for a number of hours are becoming increasingly concerned about being trapped in their properties or prevented from accessing them.

They are also worried about the safety of thousands of cyclists racing on narrow country lanes.

A resident in Belbroughton, where the race will run through the main village streets, said: “It’s going to be a second Hillsborough with people coming down Bradford Lane and Broom Hill because it’s so narrow. I’m not against cycling but we haven’t got the roads for it. There’s only 200 racers in the Tour de France - we’ve got 15,000.”

Gavin Williamson, MP for South Staffordshire where roads will be closed in Kinver, Stourton, Enville, Six Ashes and Swindon, has also voiced concerns and he said: “I do not want this race in the constituency and I am furious that Staffordshire County Council has not had a local consultation on this. The road closures will affect a great number of local businesses who will effectively be forced to close for the day.

“Alongside this, local residents will be massively inconvenienced and will have to significantly alter their daily routine.”

Kinver Parish Council chairman Henry Williams said he too was disappointed at the lack of consultation and added: “How are they going to negotiate the pinch points in Kinver High Street? There’s going to be an accident. They haven’t thought this through at all.”

Organisers CSM Active say the route was agreed in partnership with Birmingham City Council, Worcestershire County Council, Staffordshire County Council, Sandwell Council and Dudley Council, plus emergency services and transport operators - and they have stressed they will continue to work closely with residents and businesses along the route to minimise the impact of the road closures which they say are vital to ensure safe delivery of the event which is the first of its kind in the region.

Jon Ridgeon, executive chairman of Vélo Birmingham organisers CSM Active, said: "The route is truly spectacular and it is great to hear that so many of our participants will be riding to fundraise for a range of extremely worthwhile causes. I would like to thank all our local authority partners for their continuing commitment and support.”

Councillor Karen Shakespeare, Dudley Council’s cabinet member for environmental services, added: “This is the first race of its kind to come to the Midlands and is a fantastic opportunity for keen cyclists from across the country to see the best of our region while raising thousands of pounds for worthy charities.

"I hope residents will come out to show their support for the 15,000 cyclists taking part as they pass through the borough.”

Heading out of Birmingham, the race will take riders along the A456, Hagley Road West, followed by the A458 through Halesowen and Cradley towards Stourbridge before turning south on the A4036 and B4186.

Riders will then take the A451 Norton Road into the rural lanes of South Staffordshire then north Worcestershire before returning to Birmingham’s Broad Street via Clent where the toughest part of the course will see cyclists taking on the steep and winding St Kenelm’s Pass just 16 miles ahead of the finish line.

Residents and business owners based on or near the route are urged to visit www.velobirmingham.com/the-route/road-closures to check the updated road closure timings and how best to navigate around them.