York & North Yorkshire

Emergency services ready for UCI cycle championships

UCI Road World Championships 2018 Image copyright Tim de Waele/Getty Images
Image caption It is the first time the championships has been held in Britain since 1982

Emergency services in Harrogate are gearing up for cycling's UCI Road World Championships after months of planning.

More than one million people are due to watch 1,400 riders compete in the nine-day event across Yorkshire.

All of the races, taking place between 22 and 29 September, finish in Harrogate, where there will be dozens of road closures.

Police said an airspace restriction would be in place across the town and large gates will block some streets.

Image copyright @NYPdrones
Image caption Jarvis Cocker and The Pigeon Detectives will be performing in the fan zone on The Stray
Image caption As well as rolling road closures, there will be fixed road closures in place

The championships include a range of men's and women's races across age groups, from junior to elite, and will start in different towns and cities across Yorkshire.

North Yorkshire Police, which has been planning for the event for two years, said the scale of it meant they had to be ready for anything.

Insp Jeff McKeown said the force had worked with experts in London to bring in specialist equipment.

"Part of the police's role is to think about and plan for things that could happen, but everybody hopes does not," he said.

At Harrogate District Hospital, more staff will be working in acute departments and Ripon Minor Injury Unit has extended its opening times for the duration of the championships.

Frances Bowden, clinical operations manager for Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said patient leaflets had been provided with information on travel disruption and how best to get to the hospital.

More ambulances and cycle responders will be available, while the fire service said retained staff would be based at stations to give better response times.

Although the vast majority of road closures will be in North Yorkshire, roads elsewhere will be affected.

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