World’s biggest cycling event gets underway in West Dunbartonshire

Some residents of West Dunbartonshire in the Loch Lomondside area have been complaining about lack of access and local traffic information during the world’s biggest ever cycling event.
They have been expressing fears they might not be able to come and go freely from their homes while these events are taking place locally.
The residents’ complaints appeared on the Council’s own “contact us” social media site on Monday, but were quickly taken down or access to them was restricted.
As for an explanation – or possibly even an apology from the Provost for this – the Council continued with its refusal to speak directly to the The Democrat, sticking to its anti-democratic ban to allow that to happen.
Thousands of elite cyclists, including para-athletes, have arrived in Scotland to compete in the world’s biggest cycling event, as the competition is set to get underway in Glasgow.

Speaking ahead of the opening ceremony in George Square today, First Minister Humza Yousaf has encouraged people to join in the fun by visiting fan zones, attending some of the free events or soaking up the atmosphere around the venues which will likely be gathering points for the thousands of local and international visitors that are expected.

Over the next 11 days, venues across the country will host 13 UCI cycling world championships, coming together for the first time to create the biggest cycling event in history. Plans have been put in place by key partners – including Transport Scotland, ScotRail and local authorities – to minimise disruption, however given the scale of the event, people, businesses and organisations are encouraged to plan ahead and consider travel plans to reduce the risk of delays.

The First Minister said:  “Scotland is proud to host the first ever UCI Cycling World Championships. Cyclists from around the world will be participating in one of the biggest and most exciting sporting events of the year. I’m delighted to welcome all the competitors and the many international visitors.

“The championships will highlight the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes and the vibrancy of our cities. Several of the events don’t require tickets and there will be free activities to enjoy. Checking travel arrangements in advance will help people make the most of what’s on offer.

“As events get underway, I would like to thank all the individuals and partner organisations who have helped prepare for them. I encourage as many people as possible to get involved and hope they will be inspired to cycle as a result.

“We are already delivering a range of community events and activities, and have improved infrastructure across the country through the Cycling Facilities Fund and the Community Cycling Fund. This is also a great opportunity to promote the broader benefits of active travel for us all which helps to reduce carbon emissions.”

Paul Bush OBE, Chair, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships said: “I’m thrilled that after years of careful planning and partnership working, we are now ready to raise the curtain on this unique, first-of-its-kind mega event bringing 13 cycling championships to Scotland over 11 days of elite and amateur competition.

“The eyes of the world will be on us from the official Opening Ceremony in Glasgow’s George Square – featuring our very own KT Tunstall, along with a glittering array of local and international artists – and Scotland is ready to put on a show.

“The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will again showcase Scotland’s status as a world-class events destination and will also deliver a real and lasting impact for cycling in communities across the country.”

The Democrat has had to rely on a Scottish government media release for background.

It said that First Minister Humza Yousaf will attend the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships opening ceremony in Glasgow’s George Square alongside Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Angus Robertson

And that the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will run from 3 – 13 August 2023 in Glasgow and at venues across Scotland. This innovative event brings together 13 existing cycling world championships for the first time to create the biggest cycling event in history.

The event will welcome 8,000 elite and amateur cyclists, including para-athletes, from more than 120 countries and more than 200 world champions to be crowned. It will attract around one million spectators.

The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships are funded by the Scottish Government, Glasgow City Council, UK Sport and British Cycling and are delivered in a collaboration between the funders and UCI, Glasgow Life and VisitScotland with its EventScotland team through 2023 Cycling World Championships Ltd.

As the road races will travel through a number of local authority areas there will be significant road closures and the public are advised to plan journeys ahead of time. Travel advice is available on the CWC, Twitter feeds and public transport operator websites, including

Editor’s Note: One would really think West Dunbartonshire Council which has banned The Democrat for spurious petty reasons would ditch their “don’t speak to us, we’ll speak to you when it suits us” policy in light of the fact  that around £400,000 a year is being spent on “communications”, but it seems both the curmudgeonly SNP and Labour groups are sticking to their unreasonable, anti-democratic stance on this. Bill Heaney is a member of the GMB, the National Union of Journalists, the Society of Editors and three times winner of Scotland’s Weekly Journalist of the Year and yet West Dunbartonshire Council refuses to accept that he is journalist in good standing and co-operate with him in the widely accepted manner of relations between the media and publicly-funded organisations.  They appear not to agree with the Freedom of the Press or that they should be held account for what they do – or fail to do – the public’s name.

Top picture: Sir Chris Hoy, Scotland’s Olympic gold medallist, who will compere for the BBC at the prestigious championships.

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