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Anger as locals told of 'lock down' during Games event

ANGER has greeted an announcement that several towns and villages will be on "lock down" during a key event during the Commonwealth Games.

People living in Auchinloch, Chryston, Moodiesburn, Muirhead, Millerston and Stepps in North Lanarkshire will be unable to get in or leave their communities for most of July 31 during the Cycling Time Trial.

The move has been described as "shocking" by one resident.

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Locals in Auchinloch, near Lenzie, were left dismayed by a public meeting last night during which they were encouraged to take the day off work instead of trying to leave. Referring to aborted plans to demolish Glasgow high rise flats for the opening ceremony, Deborah Bryson, 42, said: "To me, this is another Red Road flat situation.

"They've not taken into account the actual community who live here and have pushed ahead with something without even consulting us or considering how it will impact on our lives. There are a lot of people unhappy about this. It's absolutely shocking."

Ms Bryson warned the lock down, which will begin at 7am, will cause major problems for villagers, especially those with children and in need of care.

She said: "We've been told that the village is basically going to be on lock down from 7am until everything's over with - which could go on until midnight.

"If we want out we have to leave before 7am, which isn't really practical for people like myself who have children.

"If you have to drop your child off at nursery before going to work, you can't do that at 6.30am.

"And there are people in the village who need carers - how are they supposed to get in and out?"

Resident have been told one alternative is to park in Lenzie and walk but this was greeted with complaints the route is along an unlit country road.

"The other thing they suggested was that we take the day off, but even if you're lucky enough to have annual leave to take, why should you have to take the day off for this?"

It is claimed some residents also received no advance notice of the meeting and only found out about it via word of mouth. It is understood letters were sent out in February telling residents there would be some road closures.

North Lanarkshire Council, who are co-ordinating the events within the authority, confirmed around 50 people attended the Auchinloch meeting.

A spokeswoman said most of those who attended were happy enough to hear what the plans were, but she said there were a few who were 'disgruntled'.

She said: "The series of community engagement events are designed to tell residents and businesses about the impact of North Lanarkshire being a proud host venue for the Cycling Time Trial.

"We recognise that life will be different from business as usual during the Games so it's important that we can explain to residents what the necessary road closures will mean for them.

"We would ask residents to visit our Games website for the most up-to-date information to help them plan ahead. We are grateful to residents across North Lanarkshire for their understanding."

The spokeswoman said the event is likely to last until late afternoon before police co-ordinate the reopening of the roads. She said it was "unlikely" the lock down would be in place until midnight.

The council said it had tried to make as many people aware of the meetings as possible by placing adverts in local press and posting details on their website.

Nobody was available for comment from Glasgow 2014.

Cyclists will start and finish at Glasgow Green with a single loop taking in East Dunbartonshire, North Lanarkshire and the city's East End.

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