York & North Yorkshire

UCI cycle insurers asked to pay for Harrogate park damage

An Drone image of Harrogate Stray
Image caption Drone images show the damage to Harrogate Stray

Insurers for the organisation behind an international cycling event could cover the costs of repairing a damaged park, a council has said.

The UCI Road World Championships took place in Harrogate between 22 and 29 September.

Heavy rainfall had a significant impact on the spectator area in part of the town's 200 acre (80 hectare) Stray.

Harrogate Borough Council said repair costs would be not known until staff are able to access the site.

Conservative leader Richard Cooper told the Local Democracy Reporting Service he was working with Yorkshire 2019, who organised the event, to see if it had "any leverage with their insurers" to help fund recovery work.

Image caption The common land was first protected in the 18th Century for the use of the people of Harrogate.

Mr Cooper said: "Let's not deny acknowledging the amount of rain we got (during UCI) was extraordinary,

"Hopefully the insurance company will accept it was out of the ordinary."

The area used was described as being left like "a battlefield" by the Stray Defence Association, which was formed to protect the site.

Mr Cooper said the emphasis was now for Yorkshire 2019 to remove the remainder of their equipment while causing minimal additional damage to the park.

That had been hampered by further heavy rain he said, but he expected the area to be handed back to the council "within the next few days".

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