Charlton Champion exclusive: Plans for this year’s Run To The Beat half-marathon will cut off Sunday footballers in Charlton Park and Meridian Sports Club, this website can reveal.
The route proposed by organisers will enclose Charlton Park on three sides and cut off access to the adjacent Meridian Sports Club. Both are used by scores of Sunday morning footballers each morning.
Run to the Beat, run commercially to promote a sportswear firm, has run every year since 2008, but has been regularly criticised by locals for poor communication and its road closures, as its circular route effectively shuts in residents in parts of Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton and Woolwich for most of the day.
Greenwich Council ignored a resolution from local Labour Party members to give the race the go-ahead without full consultation. The council later admitted “errors” had been made in organising the race.
This year’s race – scheduled for 8 September – was launched on Monday, but full details of the route have not been publicly revealed, apart from a decision to reverse the direction of the route, divert it away from Woolwich town centre and to start/finish it in Greenwich Park.
However, this website has seen plans which involve a change of route through Charlton, so the race avoids The Village to run via Charlton Road, Hornfair Road, Canberra Road, Charlton Park Lane, Cemetery Road and Little Heath. It then continues into Woolwich via Hillreach, Repository Road, Ha Ha Road, Grand Depot Road, John Wilson Street and Woolwich Church Street. Route maps indicate possible short diversions in the route at Royal Artillery Barracks and Artillery Place.
Back into Charlton, the race will run via Woolwich Road, Anchor & Hope Lane and Bugsby’s Way, before heading onto the Greenwich peninsula, where the route is not yet clear.
Race organisers IMG told the News Shopper newspaper that the loss of the route through Woolwich town centre would be made up by using Greenwich Park. However, it appears encircling Charlton Park is also part of the plan to avoid using Woolwich’s Royal Arsenal development.
Local councillors have been in discussions with them over the route, trying to persuade organisers to switch to a route which would not cut residents off. Organisers plan to repoen roads around Charlton Park at 11.45am and Woolwich Road at 1.20pm.
Organisers would only send out a generic launch press release when asked for details of the route. A petition against the race route has been launched by Charlton resident and Labour Party activist Annie Keys, while local councillors are keen to hear feedback.