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

Concerns about gridlock and other disruption have been raised as Dumfries hosts the Para-Cycling event in August

Residents have criticised “ridiculous” traffic restrictions which will allegedly cause gridlock and other disruptions in Dumfries, host to the Para-Cycling event at the UCI Cycling World Championships later this year in August.

Residents in parts of the Scottish town complained that they will not have access to the street between 7AM and 6PM on August 9 and 10, with some saying that they’ll be forced to park their cars at a nearby Tesco overnight, the Daily Record reported.

Michelle Mitchell, a Dumfries resident said: “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.”

“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,” she added.

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

Some of the areas affected by the restrictions will include Maxwelltown and Summerhill. Mitchell, a resident of Summerville Crescent, pointed out that there will be no vehicle access to a medical practice nearby and anyone attending the surgery will need to park at Tesco and walk.

Similarly, those in Barnhill will face a limited window of time to take their cars out. The council website mentions that there will be no vehicle access between 9:15AM and 6PM.

Mitchell said: “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. The Whitesands, Glasgow Street, Terregles Street and Lochfield are completely cut off from 6AM to 6PM.

“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.”

> Fresh row in Harrogate over UCI Road Worlds graffiti and bill to repair 'devastated' Stray

Some others in Summerville Crescent also shared her views. One person said: “I’m all for bringing money to the region with big events like this but not at the expense of residents. I’ve got two kids I need to drop off at childcare before I start work so this will have a severe impact on me. I finish work at 2.45PM. What am I supposed to do for just over three hours before the road reopens? I don’t think enough thought has been given to this.”

Another resident added: “Me and my partner have health and mobility issues and I care for my mum who is out of town. I can’t drag my kids up at 5am just so we can get out before these restrictions. It’s not reasonable.”

This year will mark the inaugural edition of Cycling World Championships when all of UCI’s events will take place at one place, with Scotland playing the host to the mega-event. The Para-Cycling Road Championships will take place in Dumfries and Galloway from August 9 to 13.

But this is not the first time that a UCI’s cycling event has faced a backlash in Britain. When the Road World Championships took place in Harrogate in 2019, residents and businessmen were not the most pleased either. Town centre traders said they suffered a drop in earnings due to road closures, while residents said the event caused disruption to their daily lives.

> UCI Road World Championships fans spent £22.5 million in Harrogate

A council report found that the Championships “closed Harrogate town centre for a month” and the impact it had on the city, which hosted the finish of the races, was ‘unacceptable’.

The report also made a number of recommendations including ensuring greater involvement of local businesses and residents prior to the North Yorkshire  hosting large events in the future.

However, another economic impact assessment report published in February 2020 showed a massive economic boost to the North Yorkshire town due to the event, as cycling fans who flocked to Harrogate for last September’s UCI Road World Championships spent a combined total of £22.5 million during their visit.

But the “ill-feeling” due to the event, as described by the Tour de Yorkshire organiser hoping to revive the popular stage race, was so widespread that Harrogate Borough Council made it clear that it does not intend to host any road cycling events in the near future.

> World Championships in Harrogate "catalyst for ill feeling", says organiser hoping to revive Tour de Yorkshire

In 2021, another social impact evaluation commissioned by British Cycling, Sport England and UK Sport, found that: “There were also some negative consequences of the Road World Championships expressed by host community residents surveyed, particularly in Harrogate, where respondents were critical of the inconvenience and disruption due to the prolonged road closures compared with other host locations such as Doncaster and Leeds.

“The event was seen to have had a major disruptive impact on the community in Harrogate, which is illustrated starkly by Harrogate Borough Council's decision to refrain temporarily from hosting major events of this scale.”

Adwitiya joined in 2023 as a news writer after completing his masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He also covers local and national politics for Voice Wales, and sometimes writes about science, tech and the environment. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him riding his bike on the scenic routes, fighting his urge to stop pedalling and click photographs (apparently not because he's bonking).

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Dicklexic | 4 months ago

A perfect opportunity to share one of Dave Walker's latest cartoons!

MoreCoffeeNeeded | 4 months ago
1 like

My parents-in-law live near Innsbruck. Guess what? There were exactly the same kinds of compaints from locals when the Worlds took place there.

Off the back | 4 months ago

Still makes me laugh at the complaints about Harrogate. Let's look at the town today. More and more shops closing in tbe centre. The road infrastructure is a complete joke for any form of transport using it. It has some of the most beautiful countryside around it to cycle but in the town itself is shocking. 

This was the way it was pre Worlds and same today. The lack of business is more down to the ineptitude of the now defunct Harrogate council. The roads in other towns that supplied starts to races ie Ripon and Northallerton to name two suffered no such issue. The events went to plan. 

Here is a chance to showcase your town/city to the world in ways it may never be again and it's whined and whinged about because of a day or two inconvenience. Remember the near year of Covid restrictions? How inconvenient was that? You just got on with life. Sure a sports event isn't the same as a pandemic but it does show the world won't end cos you can't get out to the shops for a day. Cos,  you know, screw other people and their fun. 


Simon E replied to Off the back | 4 months ago

Off the back wrote:

Here is a chance to showcase your town/city to the world in ways it may never be again and it's whined and whinged about because of a day or two inconvenience.

Yeah so true, but cyclists...

Ken in BC | 4 months ago

Reading the Isle of Wight "news", I am always astonished at the vitriolic anti-cycling comments made there, as well, whenever a cycling event is contemplated or being reported upon.  A sad situation indeed.   Cheers

billymansell | 4 months ago

Mitchell said: “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.

Don't worry Mitchell, every other day of the year you can be stuck in gridlocked motor traffic to your heart's content.

“When I challenged them on how we get to work, visit elderly relatives or do the shopping...".

It's really spooky how whenever someone is given months' notice of a road closure it is always that one day that they visit elderly relatives or go shopping, not the day before nor the day after but the exact day. Freaky.

marmotte27 replied to billymansell | 4 months ago

Just like every car driver always transports a fridge a weekly shop their ailing grandmother while living in constant rain on top of a 10% mountain...

quiff | 4 months ago

And only 3 months' notice to make alternative arrangements...

dubwise | 4 months ago

Sadly, typical outburst. Scotland is so anti-cycling.

Flâneur replied to dubwise | 4 months ago

+100. My wife took a secondary school group out cycling yesterday in 'shared spaces' and she came back thoroughly depressed due to constant nasty comments from arsehole pedestrians and dogwalkers. Live in a country full of arseholes unfortunately.

dubwise replied to Flâneur | 4 months ago

Not surprised one bit.

Ah, dogwalkers.  Far too many think their dog is everyone ele's responsibilty.  A friend of the family, who played the pipes at our wedding, is in a very serious condition, and not being given much chance of pulling through, due to a dog jumping up and knocking him to the ground.  Hit his head the wrong way...

brooksby | 4 months ago


Michelle Mitchell, a Dumfries resident said: “First of all I want to point out that I am all for these events coming to Dumfries.   But..."

What?  No "I'm a keen cyclist myself..."?

Boopop | 4 months ago

News flash: Carbrains equate not being able to drive somewhere with being "locked down". More at ten.

Cugel replied to Boopop | 4 months ago

Boopop wrote:

News flash: Carbrains equate not being able to drive somewhere with being "locked down". More at ten.

Now then - here is a hopportunity for these carbrains to try some social logic, in the form of: if not being able to drive is equivalent to a punishing lockdown then I must go to those withoot a car to offer lifts aboot the place, at the time of their choosing and to the places they wish to go.

Of course, carbrains don't do logic; and definitely not any kind of activity other than that practiced by selfcentred little skinbags stuffed with a self-righteous certainty concerning their vast importance, as well as the utter irrelevance of the wishes or needs of them other folk, who should all just GET OUT OF MY WAY.   1

When I be dictator, their cars will be confiscated so as to provide a valuable life lesson; and to free them from their slavery to the moneypit stinking murder machine. Perhaps they will acquire "the fervour of the converted" for cycling or even walking aboot?

mattsccm replied to Cugel | 4 months ago

Just look at your selves. The replies above are no different to those objecting. Narrow minded but what can one expect from Roadcc? 

If you are not into cycling then these restrictions are a pain. Why not accept that not everyone wants their day to day life messed up?  Of course those here are as lacking in tolerance as the residents.  I bet you a quid that there was no consulation from residents before this was decided upon. And their should be. In any situation local residents should have a significant influence over the outsiders. 

I reckon this is in need of a compromise, Probably the traffic restrictions will be those easiest to implement and the cheapest. Lots of towns have their centres shut for a day or an evening but a 12 hour chunk is rather a lot. 

Quite probably a poor choice of a venue.

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