Homemade carts unleashed on York's famous cobbles

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Carefully-crafted carts rolled and clattered along one of York’s famous cobbled streets yesterday as racers took part in a colourful spectacle that attracted more than 20,000 people.

The York BID (Business Improvement District) Micklegate Soapbox Challenge returned to the medieval city on Bank Holiday Monday.

A cart taking part in The York Bid Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

A cart taking part in The York Bid Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

Wheels secured and brakes checked - participants in the city’s most unusual road race undertook final preparations on their person-powered vehicles for the fourth annual challenge.

Groups, companies and organisations put vehicles through their paces on timed runs down Micklegate, just inside the city walls, where they faced straights, curves and cobbles before reaching the finish line at the bottom of the hill.

Lead organiser Marc Allinson, owner of the Artful Dodger in Micklegate, said: “Last year we had 20 to 24,000 people and we have easily topped that. This year the sunny weather also means the crowds are sticking around after the event. It brings in well over £1m for the local economy.”

Around 40 carts took part, including a train-themed vehicle from the National Railway Museum and a luggage trolley from York’s Grand Hotel.

A cart taking part in The York Bid Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson.

A cart taking part in The York Bid Micklegate Run Soap Box Challenge.'Picture: Bruce Rollinson.