'Siege of Westcombe' is Over as Run to the Beat is cancelled

The Run to the Beat half-marathon event that has often been mired in controversy appears to be on the way out at least as far as Greenwich is concerned. The event meant road closures and complaints about noise along its route which included the Greenwich, Charlton and Woolwich areas.  Now it seems it is going to another part of London.

Blackheath Westcombe Conservative Councillor, Geoff Brighty said :  "From the start Run to the Beat seemed to many residents to be one event too many and became known along our part of the route as the ‘Siege of Westcombe'.  Many roads were closed for long periods on the day, there was little consultation with residents and, especially in its first years, the organisers had to be persuaded of the need to provide useful information on those closures.  Noise from the music stages which were strategically placed along the route was also unpopular with residents.  On balance many residents will be pleased to see it go though I'm sure they will be wishing it well as they wave it goodbye."

The decision-making process that allowed Run to the Beat to use Greenwich streets seemed to many to be opaque but, somehow, Greenwich Council seems to have found its voice.  Resident and Councillor criticisms may eventually have hit home but perhaps the organisers demand for a five year commitment was just to much for even Greenwich Council to stomach.

Cllr Brighty says "Could this be the start of a more considered policy on events in the Borough?  If so hopefully it will also include Lewisham Council, which is milking its part of Blackheath for all its worth these days.”

Eltham South Cllr Matt Clare, a regular half marathon runner and Run to the Beat competitor, said 'I too am pleased the siege is over but extremely disappointed that once again Greenwich Council failed to come up with a workable solution. Many London boroughs with far less green space than Greenwich manage popular Half Marathons without significant inconvenience to residents.