Big new LED signs have appeared on key roads in Harrogate over the last week proving, if proof be needed, that the town is now only 37 days from welcoming the entire world of cycling to its streets for nine whole days.
The scale of the event is matched by the upgrade in signage from normal-sized traditional AA-style yellow and black boards to super-sized illuminated LED traffic signs on the likes of Station Parade and Knaresborough Road.
The international cycling event’s local organisers Yorkshire 2019, combined with the highways authority North Yorkshire County Council, are making a public demonstration that the UCI Championships are very different from the Tour de Yorkshire or, even, Tour de France events which Harrogate has hosted over the past five years, given the UCIs’ much longer duration and fact that they will take place during the working week.
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In an indication of just how disruptive the UCIs may prove to be to everyday life in Harrogate, Harrogate Borough Council’s website now contains a section headed “UCI car park closures and alternative arrangements.”
It reveals that from September 21 until September 29 inclusive the following council-run car parks in Harrogate will be closed as a result of the UCI races being held in the town.
Harrogate car parks which will be closed for UCI cycling championships
Jubilee multi storey.
West Park multi storey.
West Park surface level.
A flavour of the scale of the road closures in Harrogate to come when the UCI Road World Championships run from September 21-29 has already been given in a leaflet published in May called Harrogate Residents Guide.
But the county council says it will shortly be providing, in conjunction with Yorkshire 2019, some more user-friendly information highlighting the often complex nature of closure and reopening times for Harrogate roads. With the town centre circuit being used most days of the UCIs, the authorities’ well-intentioned aim of keeping roads closed only as long as necessary for each race seems to be making it more difficult for local residents rather than easier.