London Marathon organisers – why keep locals in the dark?


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I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again on Sunday, and I’ll say it again now. There’s no better morning to be in this part of south-east London than London Marathon day. A rolling carnival of human endeavour, sporting excellence and charity follies, it’s something that brings out the best in this corner of the world. Richard Branson and the Evening Standard had a wheeze to re-route it away from this area, but thankfully it came to nothing.

But has anyone on the route heard anything from the organisers this year? For many of us, the marathon’s a Sunday morning lock-in, a day you may need to plan in advance for. I live in the locked-in area and have heard nothing. The other night I had a call from a pal who lives on the route and had also heard nothing.

I asked on Twitter, and the unanimous response, from mile one to mile eight at Rotherhithe was… we’ve had nothing through our doors.

Now, I understand some car owners have had notes on their windscreens asking them to shift their motors, but that’s it. You might say that since the marathon’s more than 30 years old, everyone knows about it – but they don’t. Plenty of people think they can drive out of the lock-in area as soon as the runners pass, some even try to catch buses while the race is on.

Shouldn’t the marathon organisers be upping their game here? After all, we don’t want it to become an unwanted imposition like Run to the Beat (back again this year).

Some places to find marathon info: Greenwich Council, interactive route map.

17 comments

  1. Carys

    I’m in Rotherhithe and apart from signs up saying the roads will be closed I haven’t heard anything else. Having said that I don’t remember receiving anything last year either.

  2. Rev. Dolly Rotten

    i lived like a hundred yards away from the Marathon route through Woolwich and pretty much every year I only remembered it was on when I was woken up on the morning by the noise!

  3. John

    We had a flyer recently about road closures. I didn’t read it or keep it though as I assumed that it was the same as every other year.

  4. Darryl

    Was it through your door or left on a car, John?

    I’ve had them sporadically over the years. Since the marathon started, the closure times have changed (there’s now a clear hour between the ‘last’ runner and roads being reopened, before it used to be almost straight away) so it’s good to have some timings.

  5. Mr M

    Agreed. Maybe the fact that we received 2 copies meant that the distributor finished his/her round in half the time, with obvious consequences.

  6. Chris

    I’m in the locked-in zone and have had nothing.

    Still, I can read the road signs and the annual sight of hapless and clueless car drivers remonstrating with the coppers at the top of Fairfield Grove is always a fun one!

    Some people really live in a bubble!

    Remember, the trains are still running. It’s amazing how many people forget about the railway.

  7. Gordon of Greenwich

    We also got two copies of the same leaflet through the door (Tunnel Ave area).

  8. bobbyt

    I live in the locked-in area (Eastcombe Avenue) and also got two leaflets through my door. definitely looks like the person distributing them decided to half his workload…

  9. John

    Darryl – sorry, late to answer. Our flyers were posted through the door in Bramshot Ave. I guess we got the same person as was delivering in Eastcombe Ave.

  10. Maggie

    Last year we had the flyer which clearly said when we would be locked in. So as we had to leave we made sure to head to the ‘opening’ at the bottom of Maze Hill in good time, only to be told by the PC on duty that it was closed and we ought to go up to Blackheath. Fortunately, after some arguments a more enlightened PC arrived on a bike and authorised us to drive across. This year no flyer, but fortunately not going anywhere else either, we’ll go up and cheer them on.

  11. ned

    Congratulations to the iPod wearing Andrew Gilligan lookalike who thought it would be perfectly OK to ride his bike across Charlton Road through the middle of the Marathon. Very lucky he didn’t cause a pile-up.

  12. dewhillpdben

    Just in case anyone reads this post a year later, I know the rotherhithe tunnel is closed, but is it closed to walkers? It would be a damn handy link between the two bits of the route for people like me coming up from the south.

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