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Angry residents who slammed “ridiculous” traffic restrictions ahead of UCI Cycling World Championships secure compromise from council

The council has tweaked its plans to allow residents, who claimed the upcoming para-cycling time trials would “lock down Dumfries”, to access their street by car through a supermarket carpark

Residents of a Dumfries street who complained that they were facing “unacceptable, impractical, and ridiculous” traffic restrictions during the para-cycling time trial events at this August’s UCI Cycling World Championships have secured a compromise from the council which will allow them to access the road by car.

As we reported last month, residents in parts of the Scottish town expressed concerns that they will not have access to their streets between 7am and 6pm on August 9 and 10, the days of the para-cycling road individual time trials during the upcoming inaugural combined world championships, with some claiming that they will be forced to park their cars at a nearby Tesco overnight.

> “They’re essentially locking down”: Residents angry at “ridiculous” traffic restrictions ahead of UCI Cycling World Championships

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council has agreed to tweak its plans for the event to enable those who live in Summerville Crescent to access the street through the supermarket’s carpark, the Daily Record reports.

In an email to one resident, a member of the council’s engagement team said: “We have made arrangements with Tesco to temporarily remove the bollards at the emergency vehicle access point to allow residents to their properties and also patients with mobility issues to drive closer to the doctor’s surgery. Access to Summerville Crescent will be via Tesco car park.”

Responding to the altered plans, one Summerville Crescent resident, Michelle Mitchell, told the newspaper: “I’d like to thank the organisers for listening to our suggestions and taking them on board. We’re actually delighted that they’ve listened to our requests and concerns and taken action as a result.”

> 2019 Road Worlds ‘closed Harrogate town centre for a month’ says council report

Last month, Mitchell claimed that the restrictions for the races, which apply to a number of suburbs in Maxwelltown, were “essentially locking down Dumfries”.

“First of all I want to point out that I am all for these events coming to Dumfries. But give us reasonable solutions for getting around while it’s on. The restrictions that will be placed on us as residents for the duration of it are unacceptable, impractical, and ridiculous,” she said at the time.

“When I first looked at this I thought ‘Okay I can deal with that’. But the more I’ve looked into it the more ridiculous it is. They’re essentially locking down Dumfries. They might as well shut the whole of Dumfries for two full days because gridlock is going to happen.

“When I challenged them on how we get to work, visit elderly relatives, or do the shopping, the comment I got back was that you can walk. Or I can park my vehicle in Tesco’s car park.”

> Wout van Aert takes time trial bike to Scotland for World Championships recon —then rides an OVO bike on Glasgow’s "risky" streets

While those in Summerville Crescent have gained some concessions from the council, residents in Barnhill will still be blocked from using their cars between 9.15am and 6pm – with a half an hour window available to drive at lunchtime – on 9 and 10 August.

A council spokesperson said: “We have a dedicated webpage that’s been live since routes were announced on May 16, and we’ve been running engagement sessions every day this week, as well as some last week. We have also been visiting businesses located on the routes and will continue to do so. 

“Furthermore, we leafleted around 9,000 properties once the UCI announced the routes, to inform those in affected areas of the races and raise awareness of our engagement events.”

> UCI Cycling World Championships could be disrupted by council strikes, union warns

As well as facing the wrath of angry motorists, the build-up to this summer’s UCI Cycling World Championships returning to UK soil – the first time the annual worlds events of most cycling disciplines will be held simultaneously in one location – has not been without concerns for the smooth running of the 11-day-long event.

At the weekend we reported that the championships could be hit by council strike action, with a union warning that the event could be "under threat of cancellation" unless a pay dispute with local authorities is resolved.

Releasing a statement warning that major events such as the world championships could be impacted in the case of strike action, Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said the five percent pay rise offer, rejected by its members, needs to be “significantly improved” as the trade union is “actively preparing” to ballot its local government membership on strike action.

And in February, a Glasgow cyclist raised the alarm over “dangerous” potholes on the road race routes, suggesting that unless fixed the event “may be remembered for all the wrong reasons”.

2023 World Championships Glasgow road race potholes (Liam McReanan)

> Cyclist raises alarm over "dangerous" potholes on 2023 World Championships road race routes

“Kilometre after kilometre, the whole course is like this. Very dangerous in a peloton. Is there enough time and money to fix them?” he told road.cc.

While responsibility for maintaining roads will fall to cash-strapped councils – already suffering shortfalls of between £7 million and £120 million – we contacted the UCI to ask if they are aware of planned road improvements ahead of the event in early August.

We were told the pictures and concerns would be passed on to the local organising committee “responsible for ensuring safe conditions at their event and for following the UCI regulations”.

“Please know that the safety of cyclists is an absolute priority for the UCI and we work with all stakeholders of professional road cycling towards the common objective of delivering safe race conditions,” a UCI spokesperson said.

Ryan joined road.cc in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the road.cc Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as road.cc’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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5 comments

Avatar
SteeveB | 1 year ago
1 like

Looks like they are fixing the Crow Road section of the road race route. Saw signs today that it is being closed as of next week for 2 weeks for repairs. 🤞 they do a good job not just temporary patching.

Avatar
espressodan | 1 year ago
1 like

"Please know that the safety of cyclists is an absolute priority for the UCI" also "blah blah Local organizing committee blah blah"

I'd say that if the UCI isn't aware of the dreadful state of the roads by now they're asleep at the wheel, a they show every time a local race organizer wipes a rider out through inept route planning and/or hazard management.

Avatar
Rekrab | 1 year ago
0 likes

The amount of good these events are going to do for folk, especially children is in measurable. They can't just walk for the day(s)?

Avatar
Flintshire Boy replied to Rekrab | 1 year ago
0 likes

 

You're right. They shouldn't be forced to.

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This isn't China / Russia / Nazi Germ, etc, etc, etc.

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Freedom is scary: deal with it.

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Avatar
HoarseMann | 1 year ago
1 like

Can't blame them for being angry about this, I mean, you wouldn't want to walk or cycle very far wearing these...

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