BUSINESSES in Monmouthshire fear they will lose thousands of pounds in trade and residents marooned for up to nine hours during road closures for this weekend's Velothon Wales cycling event.

Meanwhile local Assembly members are expressing concern about the effects of the event on this area and have raised the issue with the Welsh Government.

David Pell, who owns The White Hart Village Inn at Llangybi, on the Usk Road said the road closures in place for the event will have a detrimental effect on trade on the busiest day of the week.

Mr Pell said: “We have staff and bills to pay. Not to mention the detrimental effect of informing customers that they will not be able to join us for our Sunday roast.”

He said both he and local residents had been unaware of the implications until recently and questioned why compensation has not been made available or a rolling road block organised as with other events in the past.

“My insurance will not cover this and as a small business which has recently opened this is intolerable.”

“From the perspective of those people trying to make a living they are being made to suffer financially and pay the price.”

Tom Irving, owner of Llangybi Village Shop, said he will close for the day as a result.

“Some of our customers won’t be able to get to us,” he said.

“We haven’t heard from them (the organisers) at all.

“The road closures mean lots of businesses will be closing.”

Anna Jones, of Usk Garden Centre in Llanbadoc, near Usk, said the closure will coster her around £10,000 in profit during ‘peak season’.

“It’s just frustrating for us because it’s our main bulk of trade (at that time)” she said.

“I feel that we haven’t had any information or any apology at all-do they care about local businesses? It’s ridiculous.”

The event is causing disruption to two weddings that are taking place at the Glen Yr Afon Hotel,Usk.

Wedding organiser, Carol Night said: “Whilst we aren’t opposed to events like these it would have been nice to have been consulted with. We were only told about it in February and our wedding couple had booked the date in 2013.”

She said it will impact on guests who will have to stay until after midday following the Saturday wedding and mean some of the guests for the Sunday wedding arriving the night before.

She said extra staff have been drafted in to cope with the extra guests unable to leave until road re-opens.

“My priority is to look after the bride and groom and to make sure the wedding goes the best it can.”

Velothon Wales has agreed to allow the bridal car to travel from Griffithstown with a moto escort to get to the hotel and access to Usk Castle following the ceremony.

Brother and sister, Rob and Kate Williams, who run the Secret Garden at Little Mill said: “There is nothing we can do about it.”

“It is peak season and we are only a small business.”

“For us we will have to close as we are on the A4042 and will lose between £7,000 and £8,000.”

The televised race starts and finishes in Cardiff and will see more than 15,000 professional and amateur cyclists take part. It will force main roads in Newport, Caerphilly, Torfaen and Monmouthshire to close between 7.30am and 5pm as the race passes through Monmouthshire.

Several signs giving details of road closures on Merthyr Road at Llanfoist, Llanover and Govilon, near Abergavenny, have been daubed with the word ‘NO’.

In Torfaen, Gary Griffiths who owns the Rifleman’s Arms, Blaenavon, is concerned that their busiest day of trade, which typically sees over 100 Sunday lunches being served will be affected.

He said: “We serve people from all over Torfaen so the road is closed then they will not be able to get here.”

Phillip Harris, owner of the Secret Garden cafe in Newport, added: “Events like the Ryder Cup have been a disaster for us as because they were held outside of the city; no one came back into the city for trade.

“The city centre was in a bad state at the time and it had the opposite effect. We lost £2,000 during the Ryder Cup, whereas with events in the city like the Big Splash, it worked out OK for us.”

The race is not being organised by Monmouthshire council but by a company, Lagardere, on behalf of the Welsh Government.

The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Bob Greenland, said whilst the events like this can benefit the economy road closures can have a negative impact on those living and operating businesses along the route. He said the event is outside the council’s control and that closures are regrettable.

He added: “Unfortunately there has not been the consultation with those adversely affected that we were expecting. Consequently officers from across council departments will be on hand from early morning until the event has passed through to help minimise disruption and to deal with emergency situations.”

A Velothon Wales spokeswoman said: “Velothon Wales has already proved to be a very popular event, with up to 15,000 riders set to take part and up to 100,000 more visiting to spectate. The reason for its appeal is that this is a ‘closed road’ event, with cyclists able to ride this scenic route completely traffic-free.

"Velothon Wales is expected to bring a £2 million boost to the Welsh economy overall. However, we do understand that, while many businesses – particularly in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors – will benefit, some others may experience difficulties on the day of the event because of the road closures.

"Over the past six months, we have engaged with hundreds of businesses and thousands of residents along the route to inform them of the event and the associated road closures so that they can plan around it. We have also been working with the local authorities who have also consulted with local residents and businesses."

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The Velothon Wales is a major cycling event and a unique and exciting opportunity to showcase Wales to the world. With thousands registered to take part, over half of which are from outside Wales, and a global television audience, this one-day event is estimated to bring a direct economic impact of almost £2million to Wales.

“This is the first year this major, closed road event has come to Wales and unfortunately disruptions are inevitable. We recognise concerns that local businesses and people may have and we continue to work with the event organisers, police and local authorities to minimise disruption and deliver a safe and enjoyable event.”

Assembly Member Nick Ramsay has sent an urgent message to the Welsh Government Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, expressing his concern about the 2015 Velothon Wales event this coming Sunday which will result in road closures for much of the day in parts of his Monmouth constituency.

He says he has received a large number of letters and emails from constituents in recent days who have only just heard that the event is taking place in their area with resulting road closures.

He said: “It's clear that the communication with local businesses and the public generally in advance of this event has been woefully inadequate.

“It is completely unacceptable that Monmouthshire businesses are being affected in this way and for such an extended period of time. This should never have got to this point.

“I am raising this with the Welsh Government urgently, and expect immediate action. At the very least I would expect a measure of compensation for the businesses affected. It is madness that the economic harm to businesses risks outweighing any benefits of an event like this.”

South Wales East Assembly Member William Graham raised the issue with the First Minister last week stating “that a number of businesses in my region, particularly those in Peterstone and St Bride’s Wentloog, are having enormous disruption on them. Unfortunately, the organisers have not engaged with those people to tell them well in advance the days it would happen and the roads that would be closed—they have to rely on public announcements.

He added “In future, First Minister, could you make sure that your officials engage with the organisers to make sure that businesses are not disrupted?”

The First Minister agreed stating that “there are concerns—the Member is right about the organisers’ communications strategy in terms of the event. He is right to say that many businesses and, indeed, residents feel that they’re not fully familiar with what the event will mean for Cardiff.”

The First Minister went on to add “Things, I think, should have been done a lot earlier in terms of the organisation’s communication”

Mr Graham has been approached by businesses in the area who are concerned regarding the lack of information and how their trade will be affected. One local resident was concerned that they might be trapped in their house for “all hours of the day”Many local authorities concerned with the Velothon feel misled that so little advance notice of major road closures was made. Letter delivered 10 days before the event are completely insufficient.

You can see all the road closures and route map for the Velothon here