CYCLISTS are set to take to the streets for charity in a 54-mile bike ride from London to the south coast.

Bikers taking part in this year’s London to Brighton Bike Ride will head off from Clapham Common on Sunday from 6am towards the finish line on Madeira Drive in Brighton.

Around 15,000 riders are expected to take part in this year’s event, organised by the British Heart Foundation, with other charities also invited to have fundraisers at the event.

The event is returning after a two-year hiatus following the Covid-19 pandemic, with the British Heart Foundation hoping to raise £2.8 million to fund life-saving science. 

Along the 54-mile route, cyclists will climb Ditchling Beacon - the highest point in East Sussex at an elevation of 248 metres.

All participants will receive their own medal for completing the route and unwind at a beach village along the seafront, with live music from local bands and musicians.

The event is set to cause significant travel disruption across the city.

Brighton and Hove Buses have warned no southbound buses will operate along Lewes Road from around 9.30am on June 19 until 7.30pm.

Several bus routes will be impacted by the event, with the 24 and 79 being suspended, with others being diverted for most of the day.

Thameslink and Southern Rail have warned that customers travelling on services from Brighton with bicycles could experience delays on Saturday, June 18 and Monday, June 20, as their trains can only hold a limited number of bikes.

On Sunday, bikes will not be permitted on Gatwick Express, Southern or Thameslink trains from the start of service until midday.

The Argus: Map of cycle restrictions on Sunday, June 19Map of cycle restrictions on Sunday, June 19

After 12pm, restrictions will continue on services departing from any station between Gatwick Airport, Chichester, Bognor, Littlehampton, Seaford, Eastbourne, Pevensey and Westham and Brighton.

The London to Brighton Bike Ride is Europe’s oldest charity bike ride, taking place every summer since 1975 after being organised by street performer Robert Stredder and his partner as a bike version of the London to Brighton car rally.

The event has grown from just 36 riders to several thousand cyclists every year.

Over more than 40 years, more than 800,000 cyclists have taken part and raised more than £65 million to fund life-saving research into heart disease.