A MAJOR cycling event could be barred from Worcestershire's roads next year after a wave of criticism.

County councillor Ken Pollock, responsible for economy and infrastructure, claims the future of Velo Birmingham in Worcestershire is 'in the balance'.

He said there has been 'vehement' local opposition to the bike ride, which was organised by CSM Active.

Some residents and businesses have raised concerns about the impact of road closures scheduled for the event on Sunday, September 24.

Cllr Pollock said: "The future of Velo in the county is very much in the balance.

"There's no commitment to 2018 and beyond. CSM has a contract with Birmingham City Council for five years.

"As Worcestershire County Council we will review 2017 before we decide to commit. We are very anxious that people should let us know what they think.

"The decision on next year...will probably be discussed by cabinet. It may even come through to full council."

The councillor said he sympathised with businesses affected by the closures but encouraged them to make the most of the spectacle.

He added that about 10 per cent of the riders involved in the event were from Worcestershire.

Lee Ball, landlord of the King's Arms, in Ombersley, thinks the bike ride will cost his business £1,500.

He has criticised road closure signs set up on the A4133 last week because they fail to state that businesses will be open during the race.

Mr Ball said: "[It] will have a catastrophic effect upon businesses accessed by this major route over the river on the day of the event.

"No mention of a diversion, businesses open, businesses unaffected, access to businesses, just a very blunt 'Road Closed from 08:00 - 15:30'.

"One can only presume that the hundreds of thousands of road users who will pass the signs...will be suitably put off from using the said road on the day in question.

"Nothing the likes of CSM or their lapdogs at [the] county [council] can say will in anyway change the inevitable loss of tens of thousands of pounds businesses in the area will be forced to lose on the day."

The landlord of the Cross Keys Inn, in Ombersley, said a table of 18 people cancelled their reservations after he told them about the expected disruption.

He added: "I don't think it's going to bring any revenue into this area. I think people will watch it at the start, in Birmingham, and at the finish, in Birmingham.

"The pub will be open just for drinks...then at 3.30pm when the roads open I will offer an a la carte menu as normal but I don't know how it will pan out."