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Finish of UCI Cycling World Championships events moved after road closure complaints from locals

The finish of the Gran Fondo world championships has been moved and the majority of roads in Perth will now reopen earlier than planned, after residents raised concerns

As Scotland prepares to host the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships in just under a fortnight’s time, the sport’s governing body has confirmed that the finish of two of the upcoming events has been moved after locals complained about road closures.

The Gran and Medio Fondo road races, which are set to take place in Perth on 4 August, were initially set to start and finish on Tay Street in the city centre.

However, the UCI announced this week that the finish for the mass-participation events – two of the early fixtures in this year’s combined 11-day world championships – has now been moved over two miles away to the grounds of Scone Palace, the coronation site for Scotland’s ancient monarchs and former home of the Stone of Scone, or Stone of Destiny.

The governing body said in a statement that the change in finish location (the original start on Tay Street will remain in place) was made “due to recent safety concerns and associated implications regarding the duration of road closures” in the city centre.

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

According to the UCI, the majority of roads in Perth will now be able to open earlier than planned, while “additional stress on the road network will be minimised” as the race’s official parking will now be moved to Scone. However, the governing body also noted that Perth will “continue to enjoy the economic benefits of the event as the Event Village will remain at the Perth Concert Hall”.

The UCI added that the new route design will “maximise the experience for cyclists and visitors, and showcase Perth and Kinross on the global stage, while minimising the impact on local communities”.

“We would like to thank all residents and businesses for your engagement over the last couple of months, as we have spoken to many of you at our community engagement sessions across the route, through our dedicated inbox and on social media channels,” the statement said.

“While we understand there is some concern regarding the associated road closures, we have been delighted to hear there is excitement and support to welcome the event to the area.”

> Motorists criticise organisers of Northern Ireland Gran Fondo cycling event after suffering traffic delays

Perth and Kinross Council leader Grant Laing added: “The Gran Fondo will be an unforgettable event and will showcase Perth and Kinross to a worldwide audience.

“Scone Palace will make a spectacular backdrop to the finishing line and people all over the world will be able to see our stunning scenery and learn about the Stone of Destiny, which will come home next year as the centrepiece of the new Perth Museum.”

Other changes have been made to the routes to ensure the “safest possible experience for riders and spectators”, while the A85 between Perth and the turn-off for Scone Palace – which was initially set to be closed between 11am and 7pm on the day of the events – will no longer have any restrictions.

> Angry residents who slammed “ridiculous” traffic restrictions ahead of UCI Cycling World Championships secure compromise from council

The changes to the Gran and Medio Fondo routes come a month after a group of Dumfries residents also secured a compromise from the UCI, allowing them to access their street by car, after they complained that they were facing “unacceptable, impractical, and ridiculous” traffic restrictions during the para-cycling time trial events at next month’s championships.

Residents in parts of the town expressed concerns that they will not have access to their streets between 7am and 6pm on August 9 and 10, the days of the para-cycling road individual time trials, with some claiming that they will be forced to park their cars at a nearby Tesco overnight and that the race restrictions were “essentially locking down Dumfries”.

> Cyclists blast last-minute “crude patch-up” of potholes ahead of Cycling World Championships, as Tadej Pogačar’s team reportedly say Scottish roads are “worst they’d ever seen”

However, Dumfries and Galloway Council agreed last month to tweak its plans for the event to enable those who live in Summerville Crescent to access the street through the supermarket’s carpark.

Ryan joined in December 2021 and since then has kept the site’s readers and listeners informed and enthralled (well at least occasionally) on news, the live blog, and the Podcast. After boarding a wrong bus at the world championships and ruining a good pair of jeans at the cyclocross, he now serves as’s senior news writer. Before his foray into cycling journalism, he wallowed in the equally pitiless world of academia, where he wrote a book about Victorian politics and droned on about cycling and bikes to classes of bored students (while taking every chance he could get to talk about cycling in print or on the radio). He can be found riding his bike very slowly around the narrow, scenic country lanes of Co. Down.

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Bonhomme | 9 months ago
1 like

It's not entirely fair to label this as a result of nimbyism. The announcement, and this article, missed out the fact that the Perthshire Show is on the same day and the next.  It's in a park in the city centre, so the city's roads were going to be busy anyway. And the Gran/Medio Fondo routes close 2 of the main approaches to the city for some or all of the day.  Perhaps the question is more who thought it was a good idea to hold both events at the same time?  

I am happy to see this come to Perth, but feel the organisation has been woeful.  I am volunteering on the event, but only found out about a month ago that it will be in Perth; we live on the route and were only informed about the road closures a couple of weeks ago and given 1 day notice of the 'consultation' mentioned.

giff77 | 9 months ago

I'm  wondering if host towns and villages across Europe ​have the same nimbyism whenever a tour or world event comes through their patch. From what I can make out it's pretty much only the U.K.  

Wammerz | 9 months ago

One cartoon sums it up better than any article.

Miller | 9 months ago

Hello UCI. Welcome to Britain.

Fignon's ghost replied to Miller | 9 months ago
1 like

And we look forward to hosting you again, soon, for another World programme.

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