The Tour de France 2014 Yorkshire Grand Départ is going to be an event to remember for years to come, but if you are planning to watch the Tour it is vital to plan ahead.
Crowds line the route wherever the Tour goes – and this year will be no exception. Nobody is quite sure how many people will be in Yorkshire for the weekend of the Yorkshire Grand Départ but it is predicted to be in the millions.
To make it a day to remember:
· Plan ahead: choose now where you want to watch
· Go online: go to letouryorkshire.com to work out how you’ll get there
· Set off early: expect your journey to take longer than usual, so give yourself plenty of time
· Keep it simple: the best option might be walking, or of course, getting on your bike!
Where should I watch?
To make the most of your Tour experience, it is recommend that you watch at one of twenty Grand Départ Spectator Hubs. Spread out across stages 1 and 2, the hubs offer the best of both worlds: the magic of the race and a fun day out for the family.
Whether you want somewhere with good public transport, big screens to watch the action unfold, something to snack on, entertainment or just the convenience of toilets, the hubs have something for everyone. A number of the spectator hubs have accessible facilities for visitors with disabilities or limited mobility.
Most hubs are located at key points on the routes, you can catch the caravan parade and see the riders battling it out for the yellow jersey surrounded by some of the region’s most spectacular scenery. A few hubs are away from the routes, providing somewhere to go once you have seen the race.
Most hubs can hold upwards of 5,000 people – some as many as 10,000 or more – and with other, smaller hubs around 1,500 – 3,000. Whether you like big atmospheres or smaller gatherings, there’s bound to be one you can get to easily to enjoy the Tour. And there’s no need for tickets – just make sure you set off early and allow extra time for your journey.
Will roads along the route be closed? For how long?
Road closures will be in place to make this a safe and successful event for all – riders, residents, spectators and support vehicles alike.
Timings for road closures vary along the route. As a guide, plan for some roads to be closed for a minimum period of eight hours on race day. Closures will be in place longer at starts and finishes, and in some more remote areas.
I’d like to cycle to get to my chosen spot on the day – is that possible?
A bike may be your best option to travel to and from the Tour. Some of the more remote locations will be best reached by bike – or walking.
Many spectator hubs and locations along the route will have dedicated cycle parking – check in advance, and remember to bring your bike lock.
If you are planning to take your bike by train, check the service operator’s policy in advance. Unless you have a cycle reservation, travelling with a cycle may cause delays or disappointment – you may not be able to board your planned train and will have to wait for a train with available cycle space.
Can I ride on the route on the day?
You can ride on the stage 1 and 2 routes on race days. The route must be clear 30 minutes before the caravan comes through, approximately two hours before the race itself. This guidance may change on the day, so please follow direction from race stewards if you are asked to clear the route.
Once the last police vehicle in the race convoy has passed after the race, cyclists can ride on the route again. The roads will stay closed to vehicles for a period to allow the crowds to leave. When it is safe to do so, official and operational vehicles will come on to the route to remove any infrastructure, clean the streets and collect staff before the road fully reopens.
Normal rules of the road apply, so make sure you cycle on the correct side of the road. Even though the roads are closed to normal traffic, official and operational vehicles and emergency vehicles may be on the route, so be aware. Cyclists should ride safely and responsibly, and be mindful of vehicles, pedestrians and other road users on the route.
I plan to travel by train – will there be more services and seats available?
There will be more trains and more services running over the race weekend, to take spectators to the Tour, and for regular travellers to continue with business as usual.
Plan your journey, book a ticket if possible, and allow extra time for your journey – trains and stations will be very busy.
Travelling by train to Leeds, Ilkley, Skipton, Harrogate, York, Knaresborough, Keighley, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Sheffield delivers you within walking distance of the Tour de France route – plus Grand Départ Spectator Hubs and community events guaranteed to give you a day out to remember.
What about arriving by car – how can I find out about the best routes to take and any delays on race days?
Roads along and close to the race route will be closed in advance of the race. Timings vary, but as a guide, many roads will close for a minimum period of eight hours on race day. Closure periods will be longer in start and finish locations, and more remote areas.
Local authority partners are currently in the process of releasing their confirmed road closure timings and information. As part of these plans they have identified substantial numbers of car parking spaces near the route. In some areas, park & ride schemes will also be available.
Please note that a number of car parks will involve a walk of at least three miles to the race route – please check on www.letouryorkshire.com for details of car parks and their distance to the route.
In the week before, and on the race weekend itself, live traffic and travel information will be available on www.letouryorkshire.com. Dedicated Tour de France live travel information will be broadcast on many local and commercial radio stations on the run up to race weekend and across the two Grand Départ stages. Set your car radio to receive travel updates to help you make the most of your day at the Tour.
I’m a keen cycling fan and want to see the riders battle up one of our famous Yorkshire climbs – how can I do this?
We know that many cycling enthusiasts will want to watch the race at Buttertubs in Wensleydale or Holme Moss on the edge of the Peak District. Keep checking on www.letouryorkshire.com for more detailed travel advice for these areas – but in general, watching at these more remote locations will require a significant walk or bike ride from any car parking. Our spectator hubs are a great choice for families and those who want easy access to food stalls, other activities and toilets.
I don’t plan to watch the Tour. Will I still be able to get around during the weekend of the race?
Where possible, change your plans to avoid travelling at this very busy time.
If you need to make a car journey over the race weekend, please check for road closures and plan your route using the information on www.letour.yorkshire.com from end of May; and allow extra travel time.
Bus operators are finalising plans for services over the weekend of 5 and 6 July. Regular bus passengers are asked to check with their usual provider for any service changes.
For bus information in West Yorkshire go to www.wymetro.com or contact MetroLine 0113 245 76 76
For bus information in South Yorkshire go to www.travelsouthyorkshire.com or contact Traveline on 01709 51 51 51
For bus information in North Yorkshire go to www.northyorks.gov.uk
Leeds-Bradford Airport have provided travel advice for passengers travelling to and from the airport that weekend – www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk/tourdefrance
Travel advice for passengers using Manchester Airport will be published on www.letouryorkshire.com.
What about deliveries to businesses along the route?
The affected roads will not be open to traffic at all while the event is in progress. This is important to ensure the security of the event and for public safety.
Reduce the risk of disruption to your business by planning ahead.
Information has been shared with the freight industry, to support their advance planning.