The Belford Hospital near Fort William, Scotland, is to be downgraded to a 'cottage hospital' leading to the closure of the Accident & Emergency Unit. 6021 people have signed an online petition to keep the A&E unit open, many of the signatories are DH riders.

MTB events at Fort William at risk if A&E closes, argue petitioners

"Having a good A&E department at the foot of the UK’s highest peak is a no brainer and although I’d rather not see the inside of it again I would hate to see it go," argues Dave Evans, PR manager for Halfords.

Fort William is one of the venues for the UCI’s World Cup MTB events.

On, DH rider James Porteous of Linlithgow writes: "For the sake of DH bikers everywhere, save the A&E! (Broken ankle patient June ’04 – Thanks for your help!)"

Chris MacFarlane of Falkirk said: "[Any closure] may well have repercussions on future large events in Fort William."

Keith Michael was blunter: "It should be kept like it is so the riders who ride at Fort Bill can ride, crash, then go to A+E."…/petition.html?TopicID=27&EntryID=140&MMID=2

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