Harrogate Stray

Councillors asked to agree temporary application to suspend the Stray Act for UCI bike race


Councillors in Harrogate district will be asked to agree to a final temporary application to suspend the Stray Act when they meet this week (18 July).

Some of the restrictions in the act need to be lifted so the UCI Road World Championships cycling festival can be hosted in September 2019.

The Acts says that “no more than 3.5 hectares may be inclosed at any time” or that the Stray may “not be enclosed for more than five weeks in any year”

A report to full council asks for support for an approach to the Secretary of State for him to use his powers under the Localism Act to allow the Stray to be used.

It also recommends that this will be the final ever temporary application and makes clear there are no proposals for the council to apply for a permanent change to the Stray Act.

The UCI Road World Championships are held annually in an international city chosen by the UCI through a competitive bidding process.  Harrogate was selected in 2017.  It’s the first time the event has visited our shores since 1982.



Beverley, Doncaster, Leeds, Northallerton, Ripon and York are proposed race start locations.

UCI will see 11 races consisting of elite men’s and women’s, under 23 men’s and junior men’s and women’s.  All finishes will be in Harrogate and will take place between 22 and 29 September 2019.  Use of the Stray will be required from 9 September to 5 October.

A bid to host the event was made jointly by British Cycling, Welcome to Yorkshire, UK Sport and the DCMS, with support from Yorkshire’s local authorities.

The event is principally funded through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and UK Sport, and is underwritten by the government to the value of £24 million.

This includes £15 million legacy funding and a further £3 million will be made available through the National Lottery and UK Sport.

It is expected the UCI event will generate significant publicity for Harrogate and the wider Harrogate district and could contribute £60 to £100m to the local economy.  Thousands of event organisers and competitors will stay locally for the duration of the event.

Councillor Stanley Lumley, cabinet member with responsibility for sport, said:

The UCI World Road Championships is a significant event and will contribute thousands of pounds to the economy of the Harrogate district.

To host the festival, we need to make use of the Stray, so we need to apply for restrictions to be suspended for a month.

This will be the last time we will make application for a temporary change.

There are no plans for us to ask for a permanent change to the act.



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