IT an absolute disgrace that five years worth of income from the Tour de Yorkshire and the 2014 Tour de France Grand Départ has not been spent in ways to increase levels of cycling.
What a wasted opportunity to turn towns like Harrogate and Knaresborough into places where people choose to cycle to work and to school, as happens on the continent.
Of course, membership of the region’s cycling clubs has exploded with the result that Yorkshire’s roads are now full of the lycra-clad brigade each weekend (and I count myself among them) – but that enthusiasm has not been matched with the necessary infrastructure investment which would make cycling a safe and attractive prospect for all.
No other county has been given this unique opportunity to turn itself into as a cycle-friendly place to live and work, with all the benefits that would bring for health, air pollution and congestion. Yorkshire has been given the opportunity and the money, and has squandered it.
From: Alistair Booth, Pateley Bridge.
MUCH emphasis has been put on the economic benefits to the area created by the Tour de Yorkshire in years past. The Welcome To Yorkshire website even claims it was up to £98m after the 2018 race. But not everyone benefits.
OK, so accommodation, food and drink sales, souvenirs and transport all receive a boost but some businesses that don’t provide anything that cycling enthusiasts want suffer through the sheer congestion that is caused. I know of businesses that are closing for the period of the UCI World Championships because they know their clients/customers simply won’t be able to get into Harrogate.
Has anyone even considered the downturn in trade caused for some businesses as a result of all this inconvenience which negates the effect of the £98m boost that Welcome To Yorkshire says the county enjoys? I suspect not.
And talking of road closures, it isn’t just during the few days of cycle racing that we have to suffer disruption. For weeks now we have had the inconvenience of roads being closed and diversions being put in place so the potholes on the cycle route can be filled in, or in some cases sections of roads being completely resurfaced. Now that Sir Gary Verity and Ron McMillan have gone, we can but hope that all this cycling madness will come to an end.