Harrogate’s exciting role in a major sporting event next year has received a huge boost.
MPs at the House of Commmons have backed the lifting of restrictions on the use of the Harrogate Stray parkland to allow for the hosting of the Tour de Yorkshire legacy cycle race.
The Regulatory Reform Committee concluded in a report that “a good case has been made in support of the proposals” and recommended that The Harrogate Stray Act 1985 (Tour de Yorkshire) Order 2016 be made.
Next year’s event is expected to recapture the spirit of 2014 when the Tour de France came to Yokshire, attracting thousands of people to Harrogate as it became the centre of the sporting world for a weekend.
The draft Order will temporarily lift restrictions, set out in a 1985 Act, on the use of parts of the 80-hectare open parkland so that it can host this newish and popular event in the sporting calendar.
The race will take place from April 28-30 with stage two routed almost entirely through the Harrogate district, including Harrogate reprising its role as the big finish town of the day on the Saturday.
The Stray is managed by Harrogate Borough Council on behalf of the landowner, the Duchy of Lancaster.
The council anticipates that it will need to section of around 14.6 hectares of the Stray for up to 11 days for temporary infrastructure to support the tour.
The committee was asked to assess the Order by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
The committee noted that the Council is consulting local residents and businesses on the principle of amending the Stray Act to modernise it and seeking views on the wider implications of permitting more events on the Stray.
Highlights of the big day in the district next year will include the high streets of Knaresborough and Pateley Bridge, the stunning scenery of Nidderdale as the peloton makes its way up the valley, and the gruelling climb up Trapping Hill on the Cote de Lofthouse.
From there, the rolling hills lead into Masham before the race will pass through the Cathedral City of Ripon before heading back through Nidderdale again to Harrogate to recreate the iconic sprint to the line alongside the stray.