Top 5 myths about impact of UCI cycling on Harrogate and the Stray

A flood of different complaints has grown since the UCI cycling championships ended in Harrogate last month over the costs and the disruption and the muddy and smelly condition of parts of the Stray.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 11:20 am
Crowds brave the weather near the Pump Room Museum during a rain-soaked day at the recent UCI cycling championships in Harrogate.

Harrogate Borough Council told the Harrogate Advertiser that recent wet weather had slowed down the process of organisers Yorkshire 2019 leaving the site of the Fan Zone at West Park, which would then allow its parks department to begin tackling repair work and the reseeding of damaged grass in earnest.

But, in this era of conspiracy theories, this hasn't stopped the claims and rumours about the costs of hosting this major cycling event or the causes of the bad smell coming from the Stray.

What are the top five claims and how true are they?

Here is the Harrogate Advertiser guide to...

Top 5 Myths about the UCI cycling championships in Harrogate

1.

CLAIM

Harrogate Borough Council was responsible for bringing the UCI cycling championships to Harrogate

REALITY

Wrong

Harrogate Borough Council leader Coun Richard Cooper said: "The borough council was not responsible for organising the UCI cycling event, nor was North Yorkshire County Council.

"Yorkshire 2019 organised the UCIs.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport brought the event to Britain.

"It was the tourism group Welcome to Yorkshire which brought the event to Yorkshire and to Harrogate.

"The road closures were carried out by the county council."

CLAIM

Harrogate Borough Council has had to spend money on the UCIs and the Stray

REALITY

Correct - to an extent

Harrogate Borough Council leader Coun Richard Cooper said: "All in all the council spent around £600,000 in addition to funding from external organisations.

"We also gave some of our facilities in kind and they will have a notional monetary value.

“Similarly we will have done more litter clearing and the council’s brilliant staff worked long hours to deliver services around the event.

“The event was underwritten to the tune of many millions by the Government and, contrary to some of the speculation on social media, no payments were made to Harrogate Borough Council for hosting the event.”

3.

CLAIM

The smell on the Stray at West Park has been caused by muck spreading

REALITY

Wrong

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water told the Stray Defence Association: "We had feedback that someone had been muck spreading. Our technicians checked and there isn’t any evidence of this."

4.

CLAIM

A water pipe which burst on the Stray near the stage area during the UCI cycling championships led to lots of extra flooding.

REALITY

Correct - to an extent

Yorkshire Water's media advisor Matt Diner said: "We were made of the leak and fixed the issue within 24 hours. The leak came from an unmapped pipe which had been damaged."

5.

CLAIM

The smell on the Stray was caused by chemical toilets being emptied during the UCI cycling championships.

REALITY

Wrong

A spokesperson for Yorkshire Water told the Stray Defence Association: "One of our waste water technicians has been out.

"He can find no defects on the sewer network or any evidence of any escape of sewage.

"He said there was a smell which he described as stale stagnant water and that there is some smell of decaying vegetation from all the grass that has been turned over."