Tour of Britain 2011www.tourofbritain.com
After seven gruelling stages in England, Scotland and Wales, September’s 2011 Tour of Britain came to a high-speed conclusion in London in front of huge crowds. For the third year in a row, AP Security was entrusted with ensuring that the fans enjoyed the event and that the required road closures caused as little disruption as possible.
Starting in Whitehall, the cyclists rode up to Trafalgar Square, down Northumberland Avenue and then along the north bank of the Thames to the Tower of London, returning by the same route to pass beneath Hungerford Bridge, a quick dash past the Houses of Parliament and then back to the starting point via Parliament Street.
The Tour of Britain is an elite cycle race, but this final stage comprised two different professional races and one charity race along the same course, making for a great day’s entertainment. The first race was a single lap time trial, the riders setting off at one minute intervals between 11.00 and 12.30, the second brought the tour to a close with a fast and furious ten laps, setting off en masse at 15.45, whilst the The Prostate Cancer Charity Tour Ride, held between the two stages, saw thousands of amateur cyclists take to the streets of the Capital.
Closing some of London’s busiest roads on a Sunday, managing around 25,000 spectators and ensuring that there were no problems at the course’s many crossing points would be a daunting job for most security companies. But with AP’s professionalism and experience of the event, everything ran as smoothly as clockwork.
“As usual, several weeks before the event we liaised with Westminster Council, Transport For London and independent traffic consultants, planning the road closures and how to move staff to different areas as the event progressed in meticulous detail,” says AP’s Sammie Martins.
“Minimising disruption was key, so we deployed rolling road closures - bringing several of central London’s busiest roads to a complete halt for 12 hours was not an option!”
With the cyclists travelling at high speed, it was vital that the crowds were kept back behind safety barriers whenever they approached and AP’s crowd management skills were to the fore, eliminating ingress and providing answers to many questions about accessibility.
“As always, our staff went about their business with a smile, ensuring that the crowds knew that we were there to help them enjoy themselves and to do so safely,” says Sammie. “We are very pleased that, for the third year in a row, we helped to ensure a very successful final day of the Tour of Britain.”