Run to the Beat route
This is the route organisers plan to use on 8 September 2013, as seen by this website.

It’s good to see any local politician attempt to engage with the masses, and so today sees senior Greenwich councillor and cabinet member for health and older people John Fahy launch his own website.

It includes a blog where he updates us on what he’s going and what he’s thinking. In the past, he’s been critical of the Run To The Beat half-marathon, which he’s previously branded “an imposition on borough residents”.

Indeed, only a few weeks ago, he tweeted: “It would seem the Run To The Beat organisers have failed my test in making a charitable contribution, measly 200 tickets on offer. Pathetic.” He’s not been the only local councillor livid at race organisers, as well as their own council ignoring their residents.

With the new Run To The Beat route almost the same as last year’s, surely the good councillor would be putting the boot in on behalf of his constituents, no?

No. He’s broken ranks with his colleagues.

I welcome the proposed changes to the Run to the Beat route. The balance between the needs of residents and participants has been struck.

IMG are a world wide organisation engaged in all sports activities which is why I have tried, but failed,to encourage a donation to our Starting Blocks charity.

Over many years the London Marathon has brought enormous joy to thousands of people and have made significant contributions to sports legacy in the Royal Borough. My case rests.

Not quite sure what case Cllr Fahy is making – the London Marathon’s a completely different event which has left a legacy in the form of the London Marathon Playing Fields on Shooters Hill Road. Run To The Beat provides no such benefit.

As far as changes, the route avoids Woolwich town centre, easing disruption to Greenwich Council regeneration partner Tesco as well as the Royal Arsenal development, owned by Greenwich Council renegeration partner Berkeley Homes.

Everyone else will have to lump it. To make up the missing miles, the route will cut off Charlton Park on three sides, cutting off access for Sunday footballers as well as mourners at Charlton Cemetery.

There has been no attempt at a meaningful consultation, and neither organisers nor Greenwich Council have officially released the route (shown above). You’re welcome to take part in the poll below, which shows a hefty majority in favour of scrapping the route or changing it so it doesn’t shut locals in. (Here’s a suggestion.)

So why did John Fahy change his mind?

3 replies on “Greenwich councillor’s Run To The Beat U-turn”

  1. So, apart from Cllr Fahy, who is in favour of thousands of residents being blockaded for several hours on a Sunday, stony silence from those who claim to represent them. Hardly “Council of the Year” is it?

  2. Well I’m in favour. I know I’m not falling into line but actually I enjoy the day, I don’t run but I do come out to cheer on the runners and to enjoy the day. Its March, the event is in September, we know the route and the date which is a vast improvement on previous years. Its one day a year and with promises of opening roads earlier and the possibility of access/egress though Woolwich Road jn A102 I think we’re moving in the right direction.

    Glass half full for me please

  3. All respect to your opinion, Darren – you’re describing the event as it *should* be, and maybe could be if Greenwich Council didn’t yield to organisers’ demands every year. My own feeling is that IMG/ Run To The Beat detonated any goodwill they could have had long ago, and it’s a very long way back without a complete reroute/rebrand of the race.

    I can’t emphasise enough that we only know the route this early because it’s been leaked – RTTB isn’t releasing it, and nor is the council. There’s been no serious attempt to listen to local people.

    I don’t think there’s ever been a sharper portrayal of a council that does not listen, and councillors who are woefully out of touch, than the comments on John Fahy’s blogpost. How did we get into this mess?

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