Mud-ravaged Stray repairs may take longer - and this is why

Hopes that a major part of the Stray will look anything close to its best by the spring look doomed to flounder in a sea of water and mud.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 9:49 am
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 9:52 am
The Stray at West Park in Harrogate is still in poor condition four months after the end of the UCI Road World Cycling Championships.

Harrogate Borough Council has been keen to get on with restoring the grassland at West Park since the organisers of the UCI Road World Championships handed the site back in October last year.

But, in just one sign of the frustrating situation caused by the weather, it has admitted that it cannot say exactly when the anti terrorist barriers’ or Hostile Vehicle Mitigation barriers cutting across the Stray on Montpellier Hill will be removed.

A council spokesperson said: “The ground is still too wet. It is likely a heavy vehicle is needed to remove them but driving on to the grass to remove them would cause damage.

“We have spoken to the relevant service who have confirmed the hostile vehicle mitigation barriers haven’t been removed because the ground is still too soft.

“Once it has dried out further we’ll see to them being removed.”

While deeply troubled by the current mess at the Stray at West Park, The Stray Defence Association has been broadly sympathetic to the council as it battles with the elements on the land damaged last September by a combination of the cycling’s fan zone and torrential rainfall.

Although it expects the council to start Stray repairs in earnest come spring, it fears that it will be a long, slow haul to sort out the muddy chaos.

It has received a good response to a recent approach to local charities to be involved in a community bulb planting at West Park.

But the SDA says it may not be able to launch the project until September at the earliest.

The SDA’s spokesperson Judy d’Arcy-Thompson said: “It is going to be a long, slow process.

“It will be long time to wait before we can do something ‘hands on’ to help our Stray. Everyone is very keen to join our bulb planting schemer but this is not going to be possible until September or October this year.”

Harrogate Borough Council says it is looking to remove the remaining fencing on the Stray when ground conditions allow.