First Grand Départ road closure information released


The first road closure details for the historic two days when the Tour de France begins in Yorkshire this summer have been released today.

Initial information related to roads on the route or directly connected to the route of the Grand Départ has been announced as the next phase of the preparations for the world’s largest annual sporting event which comes to the county on July 5-6 before heading to Cambridge and London on July 7.

The information follows on from the release of the stage one and two race timings last week and is designed to help residents, businesses and visitors begin to plan well in advance of the Tour’s arrival.

The roads concerned hosting stages one and two in Yorkshire are expected to be closed for a minimum of eight hours, with most anticipated to be closed from early morning. Such a length of time is necessary to install and remove the facilities needed to enable people to enjoy the event safely, as well as to accommodate the Tour’s unique promotional ‘caravan’ of vehicles which entertains spectators before the riders arrive.

Stage start and finish locations are expected to be closed for longer to allow for the additional Tour infrastructure to be put in place and removed afterwards.

The first stage on Saturday 5 July begins in Leeds and passes through Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Hawes, Reeth, Masham and Ripon before the finish in Harrogate.

Stage two on Sunday 6 July starts in York before passing Knaresborough, Harrogate, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Holmfirth with the finish in Sheffield.

The opening three stages of the 2014 Tour de France in England are expected to attract several million spectators to watch the race, bringing in more than £100million to the economy while also being seen by a television audience in the billions across the world.

North Yorkshire County Council, which has more than half of the first two stages on its roads, is the first local authority today to release details of which roads will be directly impacted. The other authorities the route passes through will release their own information in the coming weeks as local traffic management schemes are finalised, which will be able to be seen at www.letouryorkshire.com/roadclosures.

The road closure requirements have been prepared following extensive multi-agency discussions involving all emergency services, the NHS, highways agencies, local authorities, the government-created company overseeing planning and delivery TdFHUB2014Ltd and the Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).

Chair of TdFHUB2014Ltd Sir Rodney Walker said:

“The Tour de France Grand Départ is going to be a spectacular event which people will remember for a lifetime. Such is the popularity of the Tour it will be watched on the roadside by millions and by billions on television worldwide.

“In terms of logistics it presents a unique and significant challenge as it takes place over vast areas and on public roads with people able to watch for free all along the route so the multi-agency planning required is immense.”

More precise timings for closures will be provided as detailed traffic management plans are refined taking into account factors such as the race timings, dedicated spectator ‘hubs’ and expected spectator numbers along the route.

All residents and businesses directly impacted by the route will receive further details from their local authority.

As well as full road closures, the plans will also see temporary traffic systems put in place to facilitate the safe movement of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on each day.

In addition, parking restrictions will be in place along the route, with organisers advising where possible to plan journeys across the weekend in advance.

Sir Rodney added:

“This will be the biggest sporting event to come to Yorkshire – ever. We will see a massive influx of visitors to experience our beautiful countryside, so both on the route itself and on surrounding areas the Tour will have a major impact. It is worth remembering though that this is one weekend in a lifetime and the overall benefits will last well beyond this July.

“We are working to release all the road closure details as early as we can so people can start planning their weekend accordingly. We will do everything we can to help with timely information, and ask people to work with us in the next few weeks and months to ensure we get this right. Together, we can make the Tour a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

1. In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for 3 stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London.

- Saturday 5th July - Stage One: Leeds - Harrogate: 190km (118 miles)

- Sunday 6th July - Stage Two: York - Sheffield: 200km (125 miles)

- Monday 7th July - Stage Three: Cambridge - London 170km (106 miles)

2. TdFHUB2014 Ltd is a not-for-profit company set up by UK Sport to co-ordinate the Government’s budget and the delivery of the Tour de France Grand Départ in the UK. It is based in Leeds and will be dissolved after the Tour.

TDF 2014 Ltd’s board includes representation from Yorkshire and Cambridge local authorities, British Cycling, Transport for London and UK Sport. The board is chaired by Sir Rodney Walker, the former chair of UK Sport, and is joint vice-chaired by Councillor Keith Wakefield, the Leader of Leeds City Council, and Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.

3. As previously announced there are three separate budgets to support planning for the three English stages of the Tour, which total £27m. The budgets are held by local authorities, TdFHUB2014 Ltd and Transport for London. TdFHUB2014 Ltd manages the £10 million of Government support.

4. The Tour de France Grand Départ will form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, an ambitious programme to bring up to 70 world class sporting events to the UK by 2019 to help build on the outstanding success of London 2012. http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/gold-events-series/

For further media queries contact:

Roger Boyde TdFHUB2014 Ltd on 07891 270 580 or email roger.boyde@tdfhub2014ltd.co.uk