Transport operators and the public are being praised for playing “a pivotal role” in delivering a successful Cycling World Championships for Scotland.
Hundreds of millions of people around the world tuned in to see a series of cycling events across the country, which Transport Scotland says “showcased our breath-taking scenery and stunning historic landmarks, over the course of ten days”.
Organisations including local authorities, Traffic Scotland, ScotRail, Police Scotland, Get Ready Glasgow, SPT and many others joined forces to put in place a detailed travel plan and communications strategy.
Key highlights for the Subway were the first weekend (August 4th – 6th) saw 132,606 journeys – the busiest Fri-Sat-Sun overall since the current Smartcard ticketing system was installed in 2013. Saturday 12th August, at 59,207 passengers, saw a new busiest day since Oct 2018, and the second busiest day in the past 10 years.
As of Friday, there had been over 323,000 visits to the Traffic Scotland website, of these 149,000 were to the UCI Cycling World Championships Travel Advice landing page. This is a 966% uplift from when the campaign began versus the previous three week period. Overall Facebook and Instagram ads have achieved 3.9m impressions, reached 1.6m people, and gained 87,000 clicks to site.
Speaking on a recent visit to the National Traffic Control Centre at South Queensferry last week, Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop said: “Scotland is now well-established for delivering world class events. This is the latest feather in our cap, following from the Commonwealth Games, Ryder Cup, Solheim Cup, 2018 European Championships, COP26, and Operation Unicorn. The reason these events often run like clockwork is down to thorough planning, testing and partnership working. If these events didn’t run well we would know all about it very quickly, so it is encouraging that the events and complex arrangements have run so smoothly. Thank you to all our partners and transport workers who have kept Scotland moving during these fantastic Championships. I am also grateful to local communities for their patience during the local road closures in place.”
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Williams, Police Scotland lead for the event, added: “The size and scale of this unique event cannot be underestimated. It brought into focus a complex planning model which saw around 5,000 officers deployed across 11 days supported by mutual aid, logistics and wellbeing support. A policing plan was in place to maintain people’s safety, ensure the safe delivery of this event, enable peaceful protest and minimise disruption.
“Officers and staff have worked extremely hard to help ensure the safe delivery of this event for everyone who attended. It has been a hugely demanding summer period for policing and many were asked to work on rest days. I want to sincerely thank them for their commitment, professionalism and support.”
SPT Chief Executive Valerie Davidson commented: “The 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships has been a tremendous success and SPT is delighted to have been able to support this fantastic event. Our decision to run extended opening hours on the Subway Sunday to assist those trying to get about the city when the majority of main roads were closed was absolutely the right one. There is no doubt this was a huge help in keeping Glasgow moving throughout all the events.”
(Picture – Transport Scotland)