Final countdown to Cycling Worlds

Gran Fondo hero image

A new travel campaign is now live, helping the public, spectators, businesses and residents plan for the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships, which get underway on Thursday.

Since its launch, unique visits to UCI Championships - Men Elite Road Race | Traffic Scotland have soared by 125%, reflecting the global, national and local interest in the event. Separately, ScotRail, SPT, local authorities, Cycling World Championships, Get Ready Glasgow and local Chambers of Commerce have organised hundreds of drop-in events and sessions for communities and businesses who will be affected or are looking to get involved in the various events.

As the excitement builds ahead of Thursday, the public – including business as usual - and spectators, are being reminded to plan their journey in advance and allow extra time, given the series of road closures in place to facilitate road races in particular.

Road cycling begins on Friday 4th August with the Gran and Medio Fondo road races taking place in Perth and Kinross, and the Men Elite Road Race on Sunday 6th August, following a route across the central belt. The Gran Fondo races start on Tay St in Perth, taking in locations including Aberfeldy, Pitlochry and Blairgowrie before finishing at Scone Palace. More information about road closures and timings is available online at Gran Fondo Community l Cycling World Championships.

On Sunday 6 August, the Men Elite Road Race will begin in Edinburgh at Holyrood by the Scottish Parliament in the city centre, taking riders through the city centre and west over the Queensferry Crossing and into Fife, before continuing through Clackmannanshire, Falkirk, Stirling, and East Dunbartonshire, and finishing in Glasgow’s George Square. Outside of the start in Edinburgh and city circuit in Glasgow, rolling road closures are in operation and are intended to be for fairly short periods of around half an hour. Organisers are encouraging people to travel earlier or later if they can as, if closures can be avoided, the need to take a diversion won’t be required.

For the Men Elite Road Race on Sunday (6th August), the M90 will close at the M9 J1A slip at around 8:45 with the M90 J1A at Queensferry expecting to close around one hour later to protect riders and allow the race to pass safely across the bridge. The A90 Northbound from the Barnton Junction, Edinburgh will be closed from around 0930 until cyclists are over the Queensferry Crossing.

The Clackmannanshire Bridge and a section of the M876/A876 are part of the route and, as a result, both the Clackmannanshire and Kincardine bridges will be closed for a short duration in the morning from around 10:20 for 30 – 45 minutes. This will limit road connections north and south of the Forth and diversions will be in place via Stirling during the restrictions and closure periods. If you need to use the crossing, you may wish to consider delaying your journey until the afternoon. The route also limits movement on the A985 between Rosyth and Kincardine so the local road network may experience some disruption. Diversions will be in place for any restricted routes and are available.

There will be road closures at the start in Edinburgh, finish in Glasgow and the section of road between the Barnton and Ferrytoll Junctions, and the M876/A876 access to the Clackmannanshire and Kincardine bridges. The remainder of the race will operate under rolling road closures controlled by police motorcyclists. More information about the Men Elite Road Race route and how road closures will operate is available online Road Races Route Information l Cycling World Championships.

Led by the Scottish Government and supported by key partners including Traffic Scotland, Get Ready Glasgow, Police Scotland, local authorities and the event organisers, the Travel Advice Stakeholder Toolkit focuses on which roads and areas across the Championships are going to be very busy and when. It also flags public transport options and is encouraging people to leave the car at home, where possible, for the fortnight of sporting excellence.

Much of Scotland is participating and going to be impacted by the unique occasion, which runs from August 3rd-13th. It is the single biggest cycling event in history, bringing together thirteen existing events into one championship.

The awareness campaign includes maps, business briefings, social media content, community engagement sessions, and paid for media content, including TV, radio and digital adverts. It features advice on how to plan ahead, be prepared, avoid peak travel periods, where to access public transport, and to check before you travel, especially around areas impacted by significant road closures.

Read further information about travel and transport during the championships on the Cycling World Championships and Traffic Scotland websites.

The Cycling World Championships has further information available for communities across Scotland on its website at, while Get Ready Glasgow and Glasgow City Council is running a specific stand-alone campaign for residents and businesses with more information at

Key dates and likely impacts include: 

  • Aug 3rd, 4th and 5th – this is already a busy weekend for people moving around the country and we have the Glasgow road closures as well as the A82 in play for movements to Fort William.
  • On Aug 4th there is also the Gran Fondo event in Perthshire featuring closure of a key junction on the A9 as well as a full closure of the A85 between Perth and Methven.
  • Aug 6th is likely to be the busiest day on the network, with closures in and around Edinburgh towards Stirling, most notably on the M9 at Junctions 1A (Newbridge) and 7 (Kinnaird House Interchange) to allow the Men Elite race to pass over the Queensferry Crossing. There will also be movements from Fort William to Peebles (A82, M8, A720) and closures in and around Glasgow city centre.
  • On Aug 12th there are Glasgow road race closures, movements on A82 to Balloch, movements on A75 Dumfries and M74.
  • Aug 13th, the final day sees Glasgow road race closures and movements on A82 to Balloch, likely to be the 3rd busiest day.

Transport Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

“With only a few days to go, a sense of anticipation is clearly building for what is expected to be the biggest cycling event ever to take place here in Scotland. However as well as all of the excitement, it is important our preparations are fit for purpose and that we showcase Scotland in a spectacular and professional light. We were rightly praised for our efforts around Operation Unicorn and now we must rise to the occasion again. 

“We have worked closely with organisers, Police Scotland, local authorities and many others to test travel arrangements, however given the complex nature and scale of this operation road users should expect delays at certain points and on the busier days. For the public, spectators, businesses and key responders there is a raft of advice available on the Traffic Scotland, Cycling World Championships, Scottish Government and public transport operator websites and twitter feeds, including

Hugh Gillies, director at Transport Scotland, said: 

“Scotland has a proud track record of hosting these large scale events, dating back to Glasgow 2014, and more recently COP26 and Operation Unicorn. We will need all of that experience and skill to successfully deliver this series of events – and it will genuinely need to be a team effort.

“Traffic modelling shows that we are set for a number of days where queues and congestion are likely, and that’s before we factor in any incidents on the network. We really need the public and spectators to play their part and check before they travel, to maximise their enjoyment and ensure Scotland is on the global map for all the right reasons.” 

Paul Bush OBE, 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships Chair, said:

“Glasgow and Scotland will soon welcome the cycling world for the first of its kind event, the 2023 UCI Cycling World Championships. A huge amount of planning has gone into the event to ensure it delivers tangible benefits for the country while also showcasing to the world all that Scotland has to offer. To ensure everyone gets the most out of the Championships, whether you are attending an event or not, please plan ahead and check the relevant websites for the most up to date information to ensure you have the best experience possible.”

Published 1 Aug 2023