Cycling event to take over the town

Pedal for Scotland is the country's biggest charity bike event
Pedal for Scotland is the country's biggest charity bike event

Motorists and residents are bracing themselves for a day of disruption as thousands of cyclists descend on Linlithgow.

Scotland’s biggest charity bike event Pedal for Scotland has grown in popularity over the years and takes place on Sunday.

The route enters Linlithgow from the west so the eastbound road of the High Street and the B9080 road will be fully closed from 6.30am to 4pm.

Around 10,000 cyclists are taking part across the three different challenges – The Classic Challenge (45 miles), The Big Belter (93 miles) from Glasgow to Edinburgh and the Wee Jaunt (10 miles) from Linlithgow to Edinburgh.

The Wee Jaunt begins at 8.30am, with the Peel forming the lunch stop for the Classic Challenge Rides. All ages and abilities from as young as five years old can take part in the challenges.

Organisers have said they aim to open the roads as soon as possible in the afternoon.

Local groups held constructive talks with cycling chiefs earlier this year over how to avoid the disruption which resulted from the charity event.

There was anger and frustration last year from a number of affected organisations in the area at the way the event was communicated and organised.

Road closures affected numerous groups including business, sports clubs, church-goers, the elderly and the Folk Festival – which will again be running this Sunday.

This year organisers have said they have made two key improvements to the set up as motorists will be able to leave the town going eastbound from High Port through the roundabout at Tesco and on to Blackness Road.

There will also be better access for residents living on B9080 with an increased “moto provision”.

Councillor David Tait said: “Some residents have aired their concerns to me but I think again it will be next week after the event when we will hear from people if they have problems.

“Most people in Linlithgow are in favour of the event in principle but it is just the way it is organised. We have tried to offer our local knowledge to help ease disruption but they have not approached us.

“We’ll just have to wait and see how this year goes.”

A Cycling Scotland spokesperson said: “We’re delighted that at least 200 people from Linlithgow will be taking part in Pedal for Scotland on Sunday.

“They are joining the Scottish Government Transport Minister and 8000 other people in the nation’s biggest bike event, raising money for a great cause.

“We are sorry for the disruption this event causes residents and businesses and are doing what a charitable event reasonably can to mitigate it, including diversion maps, notification months in advance and managed access plans for people with priority needs.

“We appreciate the support there has been for the event in Linlithgow which has helped raise millions of pounds for good causes.”