The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will offer 'a once in a generation opportunity' to inspire people to take part in cycling, according to a new council report.
Due to be staged in Glasgow and other parts of Scotland in early August, the 2023 championships will bring together 13 separate UCI world cycling championships into one single, multi-disciplinary event for the first time. Over 2600 athletes are scheduled to participate in the championships, which are expected to attract one million spectators in person and a massive tv audience across the world.
According to the council report on a new strategy on cycling and other wheeled sports, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships offers a chance to create a 'lasting impact' on participation in cycling in Glasgow. The report sees Glasgow's urban environment as well set to support the growing demand for cycling and wheeled sports, such as BMX, skating and skateboarding.
The Cycling and Urban Sports Strategy sees a further growth in all-types of wheeled sports leading to significant benefits such as improvements in health and well-being, environment and climate as well as culture and the economy.
Councillor Angus Millar, City Convener for Transport, views the Cycling and Urban Sports Strategy as a crucial part of Glasgow plans for active travel to become the preferred choice for everyday journeys. He believes the eleven days of elite competition to be staged during the 2023 UCI World Cycling Championships can stimulate even further interest in cycling in Glasgow.
Councillor Millar said: "Glasgow has shown time and again its capacity to deliver major, international events and I am sure the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships will be another success story for the city.
"It's a chance for residents and visitors to witness at close hand some of the best cyclists in the world and enjoy the spectacle of international standard competition. The event also gives us a fantastic opportunity to build upon the growing participation in cycling in Glasgow. While the world's elite cyclists come to Glasgow this summer, more and more Glaswegians are choosing cycling for ordinary journeys in our everyday lives.
"Alongside our work to support active travel and sustainable transport, this strategy looks at recreational cycling and wheeled urban sports such as skating, skateboarding and push scootering. All of these activities can improve mobility and that will help personal health and well-being but also the effort to tackle Glasgow's carbon emissions."
The Cycling and Urban Sports Strategy is a key part of Glasgow's plans to increase active travel as a means of transport. It sits alongside the plan to create a City Network of safer, segregated infrastructure and a Behaviour Change Strategy that seeks to build confidence in sustainable travel as the preferred choice for everyday journeys.
Priority actions for the Cycling and Urban Sports Strategy include developing an urban sports map of Glasgow, supporting the growth of community sports hubs and investigating the possibility of hosting an international skating and BMX street event.
Glasgow City Council and Glasgow Life have committed to delivering the strategy alongside other partners. The strategy will be the subject of public engagement later this year.