A NEW route has been revealed for a major cycle race heading through Worcestershire after a tidal wave of complaints, but Belbroughton traders will still bear the brunt of 15,000 cyclists flooding their streets.

Riders will descend on the county on Sunday, September 24 for Vélo Birmingham, a 100-mile closed-road charity bike ride through 40 miles of Worcestershire's countryside.

The revised route will take cyclists around Wolverley into Staffordshire, but the track through Bromsgrove remains unchanged, forcing businesses to close and villages to be 'cut in half'.

Racers will speed around Dodford into Belbroughton, then onto Clent and down through Romsley, before crossing Frankley back into Birmingham and the city centre.

John Cleary, licensee at Ye Olde Horse Shoe Inn in Belbroughton High Street, said: "The bikes will come right past my front door so I'll be completely cut off. I'm as well off closed. I take 60 per cent of my trade on Sundays - it's my busiest day - so who's going to compensate me for that? I've got two chefs who cook more than 100 lunches on a Sunday.

"To bring that amount of cyclists through a small village like this is a disaster waiting to happen. The paths are virtually non-existent in some areas, they're so thin, then there's the potholes and the old folk.

"We have a lot of pensioners living here and they'll be cut off completely - what happens if there's an accident, how will anyone get to them?

"We were given no notice, just a letter through the door in March to say when and where the race was happening and that was that. It's not on."

Another Belbroughton businesses owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, said her staff won't be able to get to work, claiming the village will be 'literally cut in half' by Velo Birmingham.

The pair were among dozens of outraged residents to attend a parish council meeting at Fairfield Village Hall on Monday night to discuss plans to raise their concerns with Worcestershire County Council.

Jon Fraser, head of highways, admitted he too had concerns about the route through Belbroughton, adding there was 'still some work to do'.

Discussions are 'ongoing' between the county council and race organisers CSM in an attempt to overcome access issues.

Mr Fraser said organisers had already agreed to raise the profile of Worcestershire by featuring it more predominantly in race material and on its website.

A CSM spokesman said: "Whilst we accept road closures will inevitably cause some disruption, we very much hope the communities based along the route will support the event to maximise the numerous benefits hosting an event of this scale will bring to the region.

"We will be working closely with businesses and residents within Worcestershire to help them overcome any access issues they may encounter as a result of the road closures and encourage anyone with a concern to email route@velobirmingham.com."