Grand Départ travel and transport advice released


Official travel and transport information to help spectators enjoy watching the Grand Départ of this year’s Tour de France has started to be released today.

As part of an overall travel plan being overseen by TdFHUB2014 Ltd working with all transport partners, rail operators have today released information to allow spectators to prepare how they can travel to watch the world’s largest annual sporting event when it begins in Yorkshire on July 5-6 before heading to Cambridge and London on July 7.

Information released today for stages one and two can be seen at www.letouryorkshire.com, which hosts all the latest news and details to help spectators make the most of the event.

Travel and transport information will be able to be accessed through the site, including a live journey planner which will be available from early June and real-time traffic updates on the weekend of the race itself.

Aside from rail information, local authorities all along the route are currently in the process of releasing final road closure details and guidance for their areas. Bus timetables to be in operation around the event will also be released shortly.

The key message being stressed in all the travel and transport information is for spectators to prepare well in advance where they wish to watch the race and how they plan to get there.

With several million people expected to line the route over the three days, all transport routes and methods are likely to be busy. As a result spectators are being advised to pick a single location to watch from and to allow significant travel time, arriving as early as possible to secure a viewing spot.

Roads will be closed in most areas from early morning and for a minimum of eight hours, although this will be longer in start and finish locations.

The information to be given in the final weeks leading up to the race will include guidance on how to travel to locations by car, bus or rail and also how to access any of the 20 Grand Départ Spectator Hubs along the routes of the first two stages.

It will also highlight park and ride facilities which will be available, access for spectators with disabilities and guidance for those wishing to cycle or take bikes with them to watch the event.

Cycling to the race is expected to be popular, with the route itself on stages one and two able to be accessed by cyclists and pedestrians after the roads are closed and up to approximately 30 minutes before the promotional caravan arrives.

Organisers are encouraging spectators to follow the information and guidance given to help them decide on the most appropriate viewing location. The family-friendly spectator hubs will be suitable for all, while spectators looking to watch from more remote areas need to be fully aware this will involve significant amounts of walking from the nearest car parks and to be prepared for changeable weather conditions.

Chief executive of TdFHUB2014 Ltd Nicky Roche said:

“The Tour de France is going to be an incredible event to watch and we want as many people as possible to enjoy these historic three days. We are very pleased to now be able to start releasing this travel and transport information and would encourage anyone wanting to watch the race to read the guidance carefully.

“I’d like to thank all the transport agencies we are working with for their fantastic support in helping us to stage a wonderful experience which everyone watching will never forget.”

Head of Integrated Transport at the Association of Train Operating Companies Conrad Haigh said:

“The Tour de France coming to Britain is a great occasion and the rail industry has worked hard with the organisers to help as many people as possible travel to the event by train. Many train companies will be running extra services or adding additional carriages to provide more space for regular passengers and spectators alike. We are firmly committed to helping ensure that the Grand Départ is a success.”

The third stage of the Tour de France will take place on Monday 7 July when roads along the route in Cambridgeshire, Essex and London will close and surrounding roads will be busier. To avoid delays on the day, residents, commuters and spectators are advised to plan their day in advance and wherever possible avoid driving near the race route.

Tube and rail will be the best way to get around London on the day, although stations along and around the route, particularly the finish at The Mall in St James’s Park will be extremely busy. To find out more and plan ahead visit www.cambridgeshire.gov.uk/letourstage3, www.letouressex.com or tfl.gov.uk/tourdefrance

Transport for London is undertaking an extensive programme of public engagement and communication regarding the arrival of the Tour de France in the capital. This is designed to ensure people living and working in London can understand the potential impacts of the Tour and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary inconvenience. The engagement activities include leaflet drops to residents and businesses along the route, work with the local boroughs, local business engagement events and public information sessions.

For the latest information on the Grand Départ of the 2014 Tour de France including travel and transport guidance, visit www.letouryorkshire.com

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Notes to editors:

1. In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for three 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 5 July - Stage One: Leeds - Harrogate: 190km (118 miles)

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

- Monday 7 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.

TdFHUB2014 Ltd’s board includes representation from Yorkshire, Cambridge and Essex 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. 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, email roger.boyde@tdfhub2014ltd.co.uk