Cycling World Championships 2023: What you need to know about Fort William road closures, parking and more
The 2023 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Championships will take place at Nevis Range in August - here’s what you need to know about road closures, parking and taking your bike with you.
Fort William is no stranger to rambunctious mountain bike enthusiasts descending on the town for one weekend a year.
Taking place since 2002, the annual Fort William World Cup is a staple in the calendar of downhill fans with many making the pilgrimage to soak up the atmosphere — and occasionally the sun.
But as busy as the Nevis Range gets each year, it’s bound to be even more hectic in 2023 with the inaugural UCI Cycling World Championships. Bringing together 13 world championships, which will take place in Glasgow and Scotland from August 3 to August 13, this year’s Fort William event will be like no other.
The Downhill World Championship is expected to reel in more visitors than ever before, and there are a number of road and travel restrictions which will be put in place from Thursday August 3 until Sunday August 6.
Fort William can be reached by bus, train or car, and there are some services, such as the ScotRail Highland Explorer, which provide specific accommodations for bicycles and other equipment.
Lochaber Area Committee Chair, councillor Kate Willis said: “It is important for the public to be aware that while this spectacular event will showcase Lochaber and Scotland to the world, capacity at the Nevis Range event is no larger in terms of audience sizes than any previous year. Friday and Saturday will be at capacity and the general area will be extremely busy with normal August bank holiday visitors.
“People travelling to the event or within the Fort William/Lochaber area the weekend of 3-6 August 2023, should plan-ahead and add extra journey time to any travel plans.”
Regardless of how you travel, here are all the important details you should know before heading to the Highlands.
What time will Nevis Range open during the 2023 UCI Downhill MTB World Championships?
For the duration of the Downhill World Championship, Nevis Range will open at 8.30am and close one hour after the competition ends.
UCI Cycling World Championships: Fort William road closures and restrictions
Due to the 2023 UCI Mountain Bike Downhill World Cup there are a number of temporary road closures and restrictions in place.
From Thursday August 3 to Sunday August 6, there will be a 30mph speed limit in action on the A82 between Fort William and Spean Bridge.
All laybys on the road will be closed and any cars parked there illegally will be removed.
From Tuesday August 1 until Saturday August 5, there will be no access to Nevis Range or Rural Complex without a Vehicle Access Pass.
Parking for the Downhill World Championship
There is no spectator parking available at Nevis Range during the 2023 UCI Downhill World Championship. Parking elsewhere is also limited, however there are three shuttle bus services running for spectators. The buses will begin at 8am and run every 20 minutes, ending one hour after the competition or final medal ceremonies finish.
The first will run from Fort William Town Centre, with parking available at An Aird Parking or West End Car Park – both of which are charged.
The second will collect visitors from Fort William’s dedicated Blar Mhor Park & Ride site – suitable for those arriving from the south — which has a capacity of 1,300.
The third shuttle bus will pick up passengers from Glen Spean Brewery at the A82 Spean Bridge bus stop. Those travelling from the north or east should use this free car park which has a capacity of 600.
If you’re planning on this option, be prepared as there is no overnight parking available at Park & Ride locations.
Taking your bike to Nevis Range?
There’s a few things to know if you’re going to get on your bike to reach Nevis Range, such as the cycle route from Fort William.
The 6km fully-signposted off-road path is alongside the A82, leading to a tarmac road from Torlundy before joining a forest road near the venue. Once you reach the final 100m organisers ask that you dismount and head to the west entrance.
If you’re now wondering where your precious bike will reside while you’re living it up in the crowd, don’t worry – there is a free bike park which will open and close with the venue.
This will be operated by staff with a bike and rider identification system, to help prevent theft or mix-ups, so just make sure you take a good quality bike lock with you as they won’t be provided.
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