The Big Half marathon road closures: How to get around London on race day

Sir Mo Farah at the start of the London Big Half last year  (Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)
Sir Mo Farah at the start of the London Big Half last year (Richard Heathcote / Getty Images)

A community race to honour the London Marathon will take over the roads of the capital next weekend.

The Big Half takes place on Sunday, September 3 and is organised by the same team that runs the London Marathon, with 15,000 runners set to pound the pavements.

An elite field will also join this year, as the Big Half will be a UK-qualifying event for the 2023 World Athletics Road Running Championships Half Marathon in Latvia later this October.

The Big Half aims to “celebrate the diversity of the boroughs which the race passes through — Tower Hamlets, Southwark, Lewisham, and Greenwich”.

The event also includes the Big Relay, in which teams of four complete 5k of the route each, and the family-oriented Big Mile, which is free for anyone and sees people run a mile through Greenwich.

What is the Big Half route?

The Big Half enjoys many of the beautiful scenes of the capital that the London Marathon does, but as the name suggests, is only half the distance.

Runners will start off from Wapping at 2.30pm, before running through Canary Wharf, Tower Bridge, Rotherhithe, and Deptford before finally making their way to the finish line at the Cutty Sark.

What roads will be closed during the Big Half Marathon and how can I get around?

Organisers say they are mindful of the roads being closed, but it cannot be helped for an event this big.

They say the 2023 road closure information leaflet is now available to download on the website and leaflets have also been distributed by Royal Mail to more than 190,000 addresses across the route already.

Advance-warning signs will be displayed on affected roads in the build-up to the event, and police officers and stewards will be present on the day to help.

Parking bays along the route will be suspended and residents are advised to relocate vehicles off the route prior to 4am on Sunday, September 3. Any vehicles left in the area will be moved.

Tower Bridge, Wapping High Street, half of Tooley Street, and Jamaica Road are among roads that will be closed for the majority of the day. A full map can be accessed here.

Road closures are expected to last from 6am to 2pm, on Sunday, September 3.

Greenwich town centre will be closed to traffic the longest, from 6am to 4pm, although a local bus service will be maintained on Romney Road, Nelson Road, and Greenwich High Road throughout the day.

Local access for residents and businesses not directly on the event route will be maintained, but no vehicle access will be permitted into Romney Road or Nelson Road other than local bus services. The A2 and A102 will remain open as usual during the event.

Full details of all transport options and road closures can be downloaded from the official information leaflet.

Can I join The Big Half?

The Big Half is free to run and entries are still open. Register for free on the event’s website.

However, entries for general runners in the bigger event and charity spaces closed last week on Thursday, August 24.

It will be Sir Mo Farah’s last London race before he retires.