South West Wales

Swansea tyre blaze postpones South Wales Bike Ride

The bike ride in 2010
Image caption The charity ride, in its 27th year, has attracted record entries

A tyre blaze which has been burning for almost two weeks, has caused the postponement of an annual charity bike ride around Swansea.

More than 1,500 people were due to take part in Sunday's British Heart Foundation (BHF) South Wales Bike Ride.

But the course goes through Carmarthen Road in Fforestfach, near to the old Mettoys factory where the fire is giving off toxic smoke.

The event has been re-arranged for Sunday, 18 September.

"We have had to take this decision to cancel this Sunday's event after assessing the risk of holding the event with so many participants due to take part," said Hannah Townsend, BHF Cymru's events organiser.

"We are expecting over 1,500 to attend this popular event as well as 50 volunteer marshals working for us along the route."

She said they had taken advice from emergency services still dealing with the incident and decided the smoke cloud could pose problems for many people taking part.

Image caption A postman working in the Carmarthen Road area, wearing a mask

"Naturally we are very, very disappointed as we had a record number of pre-registered participants this year and many making huge preparations to train and fundraise for the event," said Ms Townsend.

Formerly known as the Gower Bike Ride, the event is in its 27th year and the route goes through Swansea and the Gower peninsula with 16 and 29 mile-long courses.

This year sees the introduction of a 50-mile ride which also incorporates Gorseinon and Hendy.

The only time the event was postponed was in 2007 due to poor weather, but took place a week later.

The fire at the former Mettoys factory has been burning since 16 June and will not be fully extinguished until next month.

Firefighters have had to bring in specialist equipment from around the UK to deal with the incident.

Eight thousand tonnes of shredded tyre waste has been burning.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites