A massive logistical operation is being launched to keep people moving when the Tour de France arrives in Keighley (From Keighley News)
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A massive logistical operation is being launched to keep people moving when the Tour de France arrives in Keighley
A massive logistical operation is being launched to keep people moving when the world’s greatest cycle race arrives in Keighley.
Council bosses have warned roads right along the route of the Tour de France Grand Depart will be shut for up to seven hours.
The race passes through Silsden, Steeton, Keighley, Haworth, Stanbury and Oxenhope on July 6 next year.
Thousands of visitors are expected to descend on the area, providing a headache for planners but a potential boon for businesses.
Darren Badrock, network manager with Bradford Council’s highways department, urged visitors and locals alike to – where possible – avoid bringing their cars into the town that day.
Speaking at a presentation about the event, at Keighley’s Victoria Hall on Saturday, he said: “Getting folk in and out will be difficult.
“We are trying to get people into the area on public transport. We are working with the transport authority and looking at the possibility of park-and-ride facilities in Bradford, Shipley and Bingley.
“We’re also liaising with the Keighley & Worth Valley Railway and promoting the line as a way of getting up and down the valley.”
He added: “The only way people will be able to get across the route through Keighley will be on foot. I well understand it’s going to be difficult for local people wanting to get about, but we are working with several agencies to try to make it as painless as possible.”
Mike Powell, emergency planning officer with Bradford Council, warned road closures would be extensive.
During the two days of the Grand Depart’s Yorkshire leg, about 300 routes will be shut.
“We are about 99 per cent certain of the route through this district, and we have got to ensure roads are kept clear,” he added.
Welcome to Yorkshire’s David Shields spoke about the opportunities for businesses.
He said the Tour de France was the world’s biggest annual sporting event, and TV pictures would be broadcast to 188 countries across the world.
“Viewers will not only be seeing the race, they will see and hear about the whole area,” he said.
“It is a great opportunity, not just to showcase Yorkshire as a visitor attraction, but as a county where people can do business.”
He said the Grand Depart cavalcade itself would take about three hours, from the first vehicle to the last, to pass through.
There will be sponsors’ floats, the 200 cyclists themselves, their support vehicles, the media and gendarmes who accompany the Tour.
“We are expecting two to three million visitors to descend on Yorkshire in just those two days,” Mr Shields added.
“Accommodation providers should be ready now to take bookings. Several thousand hotel rooms in the county have already been booked.”
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