This Way For The Grand Depart In North Yorkshire
4:28pm 23rd October 2013
As the Tour de France was officially launched in Paris, North Yorkshire County Council unveiled one of the new waymarker signs that will be installed along the route.
Approximately 50 signs will act as permanent waymarkers so that cyclists and motorists can follow the routes of the Grand Départ for years to come. Most of new signs will be in place by early 2014.
The county council is also working with businesses to make sure they can take advantage of these opportunities.
“We want the Tour de France to have a permanent legacy for the county”, said County Council Leader John Weighell. “The Grand Depart is the beginning not the end of our ambition for a great legacy for North Yorkshire and these signs will allow cyclists and motorists to enjoy the route for years to come. They are part of this great opportunity to enhance the region’s reputation as a top rate tourist destination with all the economic and cultural benefits that that will bring.”
As part of its preparation for the Grand Départ, the county council has begun a programme of accelerated highway works. These works would all have been needed in the next five years and have been brought forward to this financial year, with the vast majority being delivered ahead of this year's winter period.
Much of the work has already been carried out, particularly the surface dressing of sections of the race route. The county council will continue patching works across the race route over the next couple of months.
In the run-up to the event the county council will continue to work on the route, including grass cutting and verge maintenance, gully emptying and road sweeping, to ensure the route is in the best condition to deal with the high number of spectators.
It is anticipated that more than 680,000 spectators will line the route of the first stage alone, many standing for five hours to see the 200 riders preceded by a 158-strong caravan of race and sponsors' vehicles.
This influx of visitors will bring significant economic benefits to North Yorkshire, and the global TV audience of 3.5 billion will enhance the perception of the county internationally.
A conservative estimate suggests that hosting the race will bring £100m to Yorkshire. In conjunction with Craven District Council, Harrogate Borough Council, Richmondshire District Council and Yorkshire Dales National Park the county council has produced factsheets to help businesses and communities to get the most out of events.
Gary Verity, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire stated at the Paris launch: “It was an honour to be able to represent Yorkshire at the presentation today and to showcase our proud county. Yorkshire’s will be the greatest Grand Départ in the history of the Tour de France. We will raise the bar for all future hosts with our Cultural Festival 100 days before the race, two stunning stages and a legacy that leaves a cycling imprint on the county which lasts for generations. The Grand Départ will put Yorkshire on the map as a destination capable of hosting world class events in a world class location, providing a springboard to greater things. We are excited, we are proud and we are ready to welcome the world.”
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