Further to Liverpool City Council confirming that road closure permission would not be granted to allow the Liverpool Marathon to function as in the first two years it is with great personal regret that I was obliged to cancel the event.
There has been no formal explanation given as to why the event cannot be managed as in 2011 / 2012 other than to suggest the event has had a negative commercial impact on waterfront businesses and has contributed to excessive disruption for other road users and visitors to the city.
No discussion was entered into after the initial event de-brief (October) and no significant concerns were raised post race.
Unannounced (and with no prior discussion) Liverpool City Council delivered an ultimatum regarding the structure of the course on Wednesday, 6th February and subsequently confirmed by email that unless we agreed to their proposal then the race would not go ahead. I considered the proposal was inappropriate for the long term stability of the event and it also required the complete agreement of Wirral Council to accept significant changes. No other options were considered.
Despite offering a perfectly workable solution to the use of the waterfront roads to allow a finish at the Pier Head (and allow access to Liverpool ONE car park) Liverpool City Council declined to consider the option. No further discussion was entered into regarding the matter. Although Mayor Anderson stated that efforts would be made to resolve the matter after the cancellation by myself no one from Liverpool City Council made contact to discuss a resolution. Subsequently no one from Liverpool City Council explained why the option of a workable waterfront route was considered inappropriate.
Having worked on the marathon project for more than four years I am personally disappointed at the lack of vision and application shown by the local authority and feel the lack of dialogue since 13th October is suggestive of a clear strategy to rid the city of a major event that is considered to be too disruptive for some of the major businesses on the waterfront. This despite the obvious wider commercial benefits to the wider business community and showcasing of the city.
Every effort is now being made to retain the Wirral section of the course in order to deliver a restructured Wirral Half Marathon and 10K event on Sunday, 13th October. The plan is to start in Birkenhead Park and finish in New Brighton.
More details to follow on this as and when confirmed.