Stray damage from the UCI Cycling event, who should pay for the repairs ?

As the debate continues on social media over the damage to the Harrogate Stray, neither Harrogate Borough Council or Yorkshire 2019 will answer the question as to who will pay for the damage.

With other events that have damaged the Stray, Harrogate Borough Council will place a charge for the repair work. The council have haven’t confirmed if that is the case with the damage caused by the UCI Cycling event.

A spokesperson for Yorkshire 2019 said:

Yorkshire 2019 are continuing to work with Harrogate Borough Council on the restoration of The Stray.


A spokesperson for Harrogate Borough Council said:

As soon as the West Park area of the Stray is returned to us from the event organisers we will be ensuring it is restored.

Without minimising what needs to be done, the ground can recover quickly and faster than many would expect. The grass will grow back, and it will be returned to normal.


Who should pay for the repair of the Harrogate Stray folowing the UCI Cycling event ?

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  1. Was there any insurance in force to cover consequential damage of the event? Wouldn’t that be a requirement of use of the Stray?

        • It’s stupid to think it won’t!
          It might require a bit of help, (leveling and some reseeding) but of course it will grow back.
          if you don’t think so, then go around some of the kerbsides in Harrogate to see how well grass grows in the district. Visit the showground where the car parks turned to mud a few years back during the Yorkshire Show, how’s that looking?
          Outlands Stray has been a mud bath in the past following bonfire celebrations but has always come back.
          Perhaps though the council could take the opportunity, whilst it’s in it’s current state to do something about the drainage, West Park and Skipton Road adjacent stray often resemble duck ponds after heavy rain.
          Lay some drainage and fill in the hollows and it will make the the stray more resilient all year round for us all to enjoy, more often.

          • Glad someone else has highlighted the fact we have a Great Yorkshire Showground.

            WHY did we not use the GYS instead?? it is a purpose built site that we don’t use most of the year! would have been a much better location for the event and saved our stray from looking like a warzone and NEEDING repair!!

            Just ridiculous that this was all done with “boosting Tourism” in mind – who wants to come to Harrogate now?? i dont think even Christmas lights will make this mess look better and for anyone who enjoyed walking on the stray you can forget it for 6 months!!

            All because a cycle race wanted to come through our town!! NEVER AGAIN

  2. I think it is scary that the council could possibly get away with such a poorly planned event. I live in Leeds and couldn’t visit my dad in his care home for 9 days. I have spoken to many residents whose lives were made a hell by this ill conceived, ego extravaganza for the councillors. I feel most sorry for the local businesses who lost nearly two weeks trading, and then I feel sorry for their poor staff who had waste their holiday allowance because they could not get to work. This is not right. And now the council has the audacity to say the Stray will be back to normal faster than you think? It looks like a World War I battle zone and it won’t recover for months. How is that for the image of Harrogate.

      • Did you actually try driving in the central area of Harrogate during the race period? I live in the area bounded by Otley Road, Beech Grove, Montpellier and West Park and during the period of 7:30 am to 7:30pm most days it was almost impossible to use a car. And traffic in the rest of the centre of town was abysmal. I can quite believe it would have been difficult to visit someone-particularly if they were in one of the care homes on Otley Road!

  3. The CycleMafia seem too think that anyone who complained about the UCI Championship is just moaning. The event was far to big for a small town to handle, with the district impression that a few CyceMafia organised the whole thing for their own benefit, to Big themselves up. I cannot see any long term benefit from this. Shops won’t be busier, hotels won’t sell more rooms, no more people will visit Harrogate because of this event.

    It seems that projections were “made up”, consultations were non existent and the whole organisation was opaque. Yes the Stray may recover, but that’s not really the point. The bad feeling left by this circus will live long. Except for the CycleMafia who road on the pavement, told pedestrians to get out of the way and patted themselves on the back that they’d finally arrived. Well, they did. Then they destroyed a town and rode off.

    • Any post using terms such as ‘cycle mafia’, intended to be inflammatory or derogatory, has already sacrificed the potential value of its content by alienating a large proportion of readers.

    • So just to tell you that you are wrong. The owner of the tea shop in Westminster arcade is saying lots of his customers this week are there as a result of seeing Harrogate on the tv last week. No fake news please.

  4. I think both the council and event organisers should pay for the damage to the stray. But to be honest. If the council pay they will just recoup the money from us in council tax and by charging the few remaining shops we have left more tax. And no matter what the people say about it you know the council aren’t that bothered or more care would have been taken in the first place. And still I’m sure it will be hailed as an outstanding success and someone with get a paradise or an amazing bonus. The organisers won’t even look up from counting their own profits.

  5. Here’s a copy of a Tweet I sent and the response from HBC:

    Jonny M @Jonmerc . oct1
    Also, as an additional question. Why is HBC responsible for restoring the Stray and not the Organisers ?

    Hi Jonny. That’s because we (HBC) are guardians of the Stray, so ultimately it’s our responsibility. Obviously, we are working closely with the event organisers though. ^Andy
    2:58 PM · Oct 1, 2019·Twitter Web

    I would hope that HBC ensured that Yorkshire 2019 were liable for any damage before agreeing to the Stray being used for the event. Unfortunately I’m worried that the winding up of Yorkshire 2019 will have already begun. My understanding is that they’re a subsidiary of Sport England, and according to their Annual Report will be wound up 6 months after last day of the UCI Championships.

  6. We seem to spend our lives moaning about the council , everything from potholes to shiny office’s, congestion, relief roads and now Cycle races. Funny thing is that at the next election I bet we return the same old mix of blue any yellow Councillors to the town and county council. It’s been this way in Harrogate for nearly 20 years. If you truly think the council is doing a bad job and they take us for granted then do something about it, go vote for someone else at the next elections and kick the long established order out of their safe and cosy council seats.

    • Well said!
      Harrogate has deteriorated ever since the tories took over the council and we have had a tory mp!
      Before anyone says anything i have always voted tory but never again.
      Get them out.

  7. Seeing as the UCI {unwanted cycling invasion } are the primary financial winners of an over sold and under delivered spectacle they should, in some part, compensate our town for the destruction of our 200 acres.
    To say that the grass will grow back again is simply not an adequate response, it looks like the aftermath of Glastonbury, only a collective bunch of fools would let the event go ahead without adequate protection for the grasslands surrounding our town, no protective matting or flooring was considered and so here we all are asking the same questions, but it’s not only the grass, some contractors were caught cutting limbs off the protected trees surrounding the stray, upon complaint work was halted, it’s all been a sorry mess and as a local trader I feel that myself and countless others have simply been ignored and that the powers in charge simply ran rough shod over the requirements of the towns traders and residents and those that are insisting that the event was a success are simply talking out of the back of their heads.

    • You answered your own question. You say “To say that the grass will grow back again is simply not an adequate response, it looks like the aftermath of Glastonbury”

      Funnily enough, the fields they use for Glastonbury recover very well indeed every year it’s on which has been most years for the last 50 (less the occasional recovery year) so a small patch of grass will in time recover just fine. As another poster says, use the time to improve drainage of the area.

  8. I agree with everything you say. This council seems to have little regard for either residents or local traders. Many of us were greatly inconvenienced by this UCI for nearly three weeks. Harrogate centre was like a ghost town with more security guards than shoppers . Locals didn’t come in because many roads were closed and little parking available. Harrogate is near top of the list of towns with the most high street shops closures – this fiasco will not help the situation. Little wonder many traders are furious
    Its heartbreaking to see the destruction of The Stray and the Council is just trying to minimise the long term damage . I have no doubt that the cost will ultimately fall on residents.
    Don Mackenzie says that 200 million watched the races – I’m not sure how many will be rushing to enjoy our Yorkshire downpours!

  9. Not just a simple the grass will grow again .The whole site of the damage will need to be re landscaped to restore it to anything that resembles the original stray.The UCI should have been contracted for leaving the site as originally found and made to compensate for all repairs needed.The council should also compensate the retailers for lost trade as it was them who closed Harrogate to the locals and shoppers no car parks no street parking and total disruption to all traffic.Holding such an event in Autumn was always going to be a weather problem

  10. I agree with David too. If you want change, then be proactive and vote for change. It’s within our power as residents, to vote out those we think aren’t doing the job we expect them to do. It’s ok trying to put Harrogate on the map of the world, but not at the detriment of the local population and businesses. Did the event in question really bring millions into the local economy? Or just more bonuses into the pockets of greedy councillors? How many businesses actually benefited from this event? From what I’ve read in local press etc, I think more businesses actually lost out. I also heard that the council stated that they hadn’t spent that much on the event. So who paid for all the signage, who paid for the staff that were hired to manage the traffic, detours etc? I think these figures should be made public so that everyone can see what was spent and by whom. If I was a councillor, I’d make sure everyone knew what they are entitled to know. Complete transparency. Then again, I’d probably not have allowed the event to happen unless it had been voted for by the local population and businesses.

    • Very well said
      I hope the people of Harrogate remember this farce when election time comes.
      Get them out.

    • I saw somewhere the council spent £600,000, (that’s not much is it?!) although I bet that does not include all the indirect costs like planning etc… If they can spend that much and do all the work I imagine they did, obviously money is not as short as they say, and they are hugely overstaffed.

  11. The economic benefits of Road Race Cycling is unsubstantiated. It is part of the hype perpetuated by Welcome to Yorkshire to support there almost £1million of public money spent on expenses. “All the world” did not attend, the majority of countries that did (just over 50) already had knowledge or connections with Yorkshire, unless they were not able to see the TV, Films and media coverage on a week by week basis although they might never had seen the County in such a poor light in pouring rain. Very simply, these sort of events happen in the particpating UCl Countries several times a year and yet the numbers of English people who go over to support these foreign events could be put on one hand and yet we’re expected to believe that when Yorkshire hosts an event tourists will come flooding in, it’s pure hype!

    The reason why they don’t stick to increasing the visitor numbers by encouraging the existing high spend tourism market is because it doesn’t come with the benefit of sponsorship & commercial interests that accompany road race cycling, and in the WTY case with the additional benefit of personal benefits in kind.

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