Tour de France presentation
Gill Cooper presented on the arrangements for the forthcoming Tour de France in July. She explained that York had never seen anything as big as the Tour de France before, and that while the event itself would only be in York for a short period, it would be very disruptive within that time. The route itself would take four of the five bridges out, with the A64 being the only point of access left open. The Tour de France is to start at the race course at 11:00 am on Sunday 6th July, and will be preceded by around 180 specially constructed sponsor vehicles, which will leave at 09:00 am. During the Tour de France, the only way into the south side of the city is going to be via Tadcaster Road. A full list of all isolated and houses and streets will be published beforehand in The Press. Prior to the race, the roads will be kept “sterile” through the efforts of volunteers. It is currently unknown how long this will take, but the route will need to be handed across to the main TDF organisation at 08:00. A test run is to take place in Leeds in May in order to give a sense of the required time.
It is expected to take only about thirty five minutes for the whole route to be completed. However, in order not to endanger anyone on route it is important that traffic does not build up behind the cyclists, so the A59 will not be given the okay to re-open until roughly an hour later. It will be re-opened as soon as possible.
The crowds drawn by the Tour de France tend to be huge, with the current predictions for the roadsides of Yorkshire being 1.6 million, and anywhere between 10,000 – 180,000 for York itself. Traffic management and parking will be taken into account, as will the use of Park and Ride.
Questions were taken from the floor:
Response: Gill stated that it needed to be sterile from 08:00 am, which would mean at least a three hour closure.
Question: What kind of parking arrangements would be made if everybody came in at Millfield Lane.
Response: Gill responded that the police would have their own feedback team, and that Traffic Management and the police would work on a solution. If emergency access is needed, then the race will be stopped. Emergencies will be subject to approval by the police.
Question: How, given that the race will be taking place on a Sunday and will go past several churches, people will be able to access the churches on the day. It was explained that there will still be pedestrian access, and that churches have been asked if they want to move their services to later in the day – the Minster, for example, will not be having its usual morning service on 6th July, and it is understood that the vast majority of churches will be cancelling or postponing their morning services, including the Church of England and Methodist Church in Poppleton. There will be opportunities for various local organisations to hold events on the village green outside, and a meeting will be organised within the next five weeks to decide what will be happening. Upper Poppleton Parish Council will produce a special edition of their newsletter with details about road closures and what will be available and what will not upon the day.
Gill Cooper mentioned that the “100 Days Cultural Festival” begins on the 27th March, and that its accompanying brochure, “York: Be Part of It”, contains information regarding what local churches or social groups can get involved in for the Tour de France. One such project involves working with the museum to produce banners to hang from the city walls, which can then go back into the community groups. On the day, there will be nine helicopters following the cyclists to provide aerial shots of the race. These images of York will be broadcast around the world, and people will be encouraged to make the most of the opportunity to put things upon their roofs, sites, etc, to say things about their community.
Question: will the emergency services be able to get through if the ring road stopped moving.
Response: Gill Cooper stated that there would be designated emergency service routes agreed with the fire, police and ambulance services, but these would not be disclosed to the public so as to prevent them from being used as a rat run by spectators.
It was stated that 2,000 vehicles will be associated with the tour, including support vehicles (of which each cyclist has six), and 1,300 journalist vehicles.
All further questions regarding the Tour de France can be emailed to email@example.com