The London 2012 organising committee, Locog, are reportedly considering charging spectators to watch the Olympic road races from Box Hill, according to the Daily Telegraph – despite the races having an initial billing as two of the Games’ few free-to-watch events.
Last month Locog increased spectators numbers on Zig Zag Road and Donkey Green, both part of protected National Trust land, to 15,000 having capped the number to 1,500 for last year’s test event, with access on that occasion restricted to those with free wristbands.
Paid-for grandstand tickets for the finish on The Mall, where Mark Cavendish could win Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games, were snapped up last year but it had been assumed the rest of the race would be free.
The decision to limit spectator numbers on the climb, which the men’s peloton will tackle nine times and the women’s two, has already angered cycling fans, but Locog are sure to receive blanket criticism if a decision is made to charge for tickets.
A Locog spokeswoman said: “‘We have never said it would be free, we have always been ticketing that part of the route to limit the numbers of people in that area and we are looking whether we will charge or not.”