Fears Yorkshire Tour de France road closures could lead to fans missing out

Cyclists will take to Yorkshire's streets en masseCyclists will take to Yorkshire's streets en masse
Cyclists will take to Yorkshire's streets en masse
Tour de France fans are at risk of missing the race’s Yorkshire debut as road closures during the event could leave remote sections of the route all but inaccessible, it is feared.

North Yorkshire County Council stated yesterday that road closures in North Yorkshire will see major routes all over the region shut down for at least eight hours when the iconic cycle race passes through the county on July 5 and 6.

The authority has urged those in the area to “avoid travelling unless absolutely necessary” during the event, which could mean fans planning to visit some of the more picturesque areas of the stages missing out.

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Tour planners TdFHUB2014Ltd are warning that travel between locations on each stage will be limited, so spectators should plan ahead.

Coun John Blackie (Independent, Hawes and High Abbotside) of Richmondshire District Council, lets out cottages in the Yorkshire Dales and feels others may not have been aware of the impact of closures and the need for visitors to arrive early.

“There will be a deal of consternation among operators as if you don’t come last thing on Friday night you won’t be able to come to Tour stages,” he said. “Maybe we should have been rather better prepared earlier.”

Precise timings for closures are yet to be given, as the council say they will be dictated by “variable factors” such as race timings and spectator arrival times.

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The lengthy closures have been organised to allow preparation of the race route, access for more than 150 sponsors’ vehicles, for the race itself and the removal of race infrastructure and movement of spectators. They have been organised by emergency services, the NHS, local councils and Tour bodies.

A TdFHUB2014Ltd spokesman said: “Spectators should plan well ahead and think about where they would like to watch and get there early. Movement may be limited on the day.”

He said details of “spectator hubs” are soon to be released. Visit www.northyorks.gov.uk or www.letouryorkshire.com.