Head of sport for the London London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG), Debbie Jevans has expressed her confidence that more fans will be able to access Box Hill during the 2012 Olympic Games.
The London-Surrey Cycle Classic, held this August as a test event, saw just 3000 spectators allowed onto the centrepiece climb of the Olympic road races.
Speaking at the ExCeL Centre for the launch of the latest Olympic test events, Jevans told the Guardian that progress was being made in discussions between organisers and the National Trust, owners of the Box Hill estate.
“We are working with the National Trust and Box Hill to see where we can widen the roads, where we can do some tree trimming and really maximise the number of spectators there,” she said.
“I am confident the number of spectators is going to be vastly larger than the 3,000 we had for the test event.”
The test event drew criticism from riders and spectators as demand for access to the centerpiece climb up Box Hill’s Zig Zag road outweighed the number permitted by LOCOG’s controversial wristband system.
Cycling Weekly reported on November 3 that up to 15,000 fans could now be
permitted to access the road during the Olympic road races.
The key challenge for organisers is to balance greater access with protecting the rare and delicate environment which is located on the National Trust estate.