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Debate over impact of 
major cycling event

The Tour de France Grand D�part passed through Harrogate twice in 2014. PHOTO: Bruce Rollinson.
The Tour de France Grand D�part passed through Harrogate twice in 2014. PHOTO: Bruce Rollinson.

Business leaders are calling on councillors to look at the potential impact on trade of a major cycling event coming to the town.

A Councillor Question Time meeting organised by Harrogate District Chamber of Commerce will see businesses seek assurances about the UCI Road World Championship, scheduled to come to Yorkshire in September 2019.

Independent retailers have raised concerns about losing trade due to the event, which will involve roads being closed for more than a week as cyclists begin and end races in the town.

Some have warned they may even have to close their doors for nine days or risk running at an unsustainable loss.

Shop-owner Sue Kramer, who is also a vice president of the Chamber, said: “We hope this meeting will be an opportunity to get some reassurance that the closures will be kept to an absolute minimum, and that the organisers and council are listening to businesses.”

The message from the independents has been echoed by a consortium of chain retailers in Harrogate, who claim that the Tour de France Grand Départ – which passed through Harrogate twice in 2014 – had no discernible benefit to trade.

A representative from the UCI Road World Championship will also be present at the meeting, which takes place on Monday, July 9 in the Constance Green Hall at St Aidan’s C of E High School in Harrogate. Doors open at 5.30pm; the meeting starts at 6.15pm.

Attendance is free for first-timers, or £15 for returning guests. To register, go to: 
www.harrogatechamber.co.uk