Time running out to have your say on Harrogate's hosting of UCI Road World Championships

Time is running out for residents and businesses to have their say on the controversial UCI Road World Championships as part of a review of the event by Harrogate council's overview and scrutiny committee.

Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:23 pm
Updated Wednesday, 2nd June 2021, 9:26 pm
The UCI Road World Championships were held across nine days in September 2019.

Committee members are asking people to share their views on the 2019 cycling event which was hailed as a success by organisers but criticised by many traders who complained of a negative impact on footfall due to road closures and diversions.

The nine-day event will also be remembered for leaving West Park Stray severely damaged after the parkland was used as a spectator area during heavy rainfall, with repairs works and upgrades later costing £130,000.

The overview and scrutiny committee review of the event was launched last year with the aim of "building on its successes and identifying any areas for improvement to inform the organisation of future events," the council said.

It added: "The committee is made of councillors from across the political spectrum. They can look at what the council does on behalf of local people and as part of this review, they'd like to know what you thought about the championships."

Hundreds of cyclists from around the world took part in the event held in September 2019, with races starting in different towns and cities throughout Yorkshire but each finishing in Harrogate.

The council previously commissioned accountancy firm Ernst and Young to carry out a £19,000 study looking into the economical impact of the event. It concluded the championships was watched by a global television audience of 329m and resulted in an economic boost to the local economy of £17.8m.

However, the study did not take into account losses by businesses affected by road closures and falls in town centre footfall - something the new review is aiming to cover.

To have your say on the 2019 UCI World Cycling Championships go to www.harrogate.gov.uk/consultations-engagement/say.

The consultation will end on 16 June.

By Jacob Webster, Local Democracy Reporter