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Warning of Week of Traffic Disruption in North Yorkshire for Tour de France


11:11am 21st January 2014
(Updated 11:12am 21st January 2014)

More details of the closure of the A59 in North Yorkshire for the Tour de France have been revealed.

The road will be closed for a minimum of eight hours and possibly for the whole day but we don't know exact times yet as they'll depend on race times and the number of spectators. The county council also says there will be disruption on the roads in the week leading up to the event to cope with visitors and tourists.

York Council says it will unveil it's road closure programme in the next few weeks.

“It is important to remember just how massive this event is going to be,” said Councillor John Weighell, the Leader of the County Council.

“We are told that possibly one million people will be converging on North Yorkshire from all over the world to watch this incredible, free sporting event."

“It’s estimated that in North Yorkshire and West Yorkshire, for Stage One of the Grand Départ from Leeds to Harrogate on Saturday July 5th, up to 900,000 spectators will be wanting to watch the action.  That’s enough people to fill Wembley Stadium ten times over – and it’s been estimated that 650,000 of those spectators will be here in North Yorkshire."

“On Sunday July 6th, for Stage Two between York, Knaresborough, Starbeck, Harrogate and Sheffield, the estimate is that there will be more than a million spectators – although the bulk of them are expected to be in West and South Yorkshire."

“This is a huge logistical challenge.  It will not be confined to the two days of the weekend.  We anticipate that the build-up – and some disruption on the roads – will occur throughout the preceeding week.”

“There is no question but that the Grand Départ will bring enormous benefits to North Yorkshire,” added Councillor Weighell.

“As well as the visitors physically coming to Yorkshire for the event, there will be a global television audience of many, many millions who will see the spectacular landscape of North Yorkshire.  The value to our crucial tourism industry, and the wider economy of the county, will be measured in millions of pounds – not just this year during the event, but in years to come.  Across the Yorkshire region as a whole, it is estimated that the economic value of hosting the Grand Départ will be £100 million.  In return for this, the people of North Yorkshire will experience some transport disruption, and I am confident that they, like me, will consider it a small price to pay for such a massive return.”

Chair of Tour de France Hub 2014 Sir Rodney Walker said:

“The Tour de France Grand Départ is going to be a spectacular event which people will remember for a lifetime. Such is the popularity of the Tour it will be watched on the roadside by millions and by billions on television worldwide.

“In terms of logistics it presents a unique and significant challenge as it takes place over vast areas and on public roads with people able to watch for free all along the route so the multi-agency planning required is immense.”

“This will be the biggest sporting event to come to Yorkshire – ever.  We will see a massive influx of visitors to experience our beautiful countryside, so both on the route itself and on surrounding areas the Tour will have a major impact. It is worth remembering though that this is one weekend in a lifetime and the overall benefits will last well beyond this July.

“We are working to release all the road closure details as early as we can so people can start planning their weekend accordingly.  We will do everything we can to help with timely information, and ask people to work with us in the next few weeks and months to ensure we get this right.  Together, we can make the Tour a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

More details are expected to be released in the Spring.


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