We need facts on Tour, team told

First published in Keighley by

Bradford Council planners assured a Keighley public meeting that crucial Tour de France logistical information will be released in time to help communities prepare for the event.

They were addressing concerns that precise details on road closures and the likely impact on public transport were not yet available.

Tour planning team members spoke to a gathering of about 20 people in Victoria Hall on Saturday morning. Among those present were parish and town councillors, church leaders and traders’ representatives.

Keighley town councillor Graham Mitchell stressed the importance of “two-way communication”, warning most of Keighley’s population had yet to grasp the sheer scale of the event.

“When will you be able to let us have the definitive plans on road closures so we can let people know?” he asked.

Keighley’s Airedale Shopping Centre manager Steve Seymour said he was also waiting to learn vital details about how his centre can operate on the day.

Darren Badrock, network manager with Bradford Council’s highways department, said he expected to have more concrete information by the end of February.

He said roads on the race route would be closed from about 7am on the day and would remain shut after the cyclists and accompanying vehicles had passed to allow time for spectators to disperse.

“We have to be very careful with what we say about timings,” he said. “If we say a particular road will be open again at 3pm, that will mean someone getting in their car at five to three and driving straight into a crowd of spectators.”

Addressing the need to maximise car parking, he added: “We’re looking at having parking in the industrial estate north of Hard Ings Road. We’re looking for car-parking sites and we’re interested in hearing from people who have land available.

“We estimate about 80 per cent of people coming to see the Tour will come in a car or camper van.”

Bradford Council sports events officer Andy Ross said the council was offering practical online advice to people interested in setting up camp sites to accommodate some of the thousands of people who will visit the area.

He added people wanting to offer such provision didn’t need a formal licence, but should notify the council and consider important factors such as insurance, the possibility of nuisance to neighbours and access to clean drinking water.

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