Haworth promise on Tour caravan

Graham Smith at the junction of Shaw Lane and Hebden Bridge Road, on the Grand Depart route

Graham Smith at the junction of Shaw Lane and Hebden Bridge Road, on the Grand Depart route

First published in Keighley by

Top-level assurance has been given that the Tour de France caravan – a cavalcade that accompanies the world-famous cycle race – will go through Haworth.

Fears had been voiced vehicles involved in the long procession may struggle to negotiate the junction of Shaw Lane and Hebden Bridge Road at Oxenhope, forcing the caravan to bypass the Bronte village.

But a council spokesman told the Keighley News this week: “We have been assured by the Tour organisers the caravan will make its way through Haworth in Rawdon Road.”

The loss of the caravan would also have jeopardised Haworth’s hopes of acting as a spectator hub, which could include a large-screen TV in the park and race commentary, when the cyclists arrive on July 6.

Resident, Graham Smith, said he had picked up on the potential caravan bombshell at a Tour public meeting held in the village last week, hosted by Bradford Council.

“It instantly started alarm bells ringing in my head,” he said.

“The previous information we had was the cyclists and as much as possible would go up Main Street, and the tableaux etc along Rawdon Road – that was the understanding.

“If we didn’t get the caravan through Haworth, it would be a travesty for the village. It would be like having Notting Hill carnival without the parade, and have a severe impact on the attendance. The attraction for many people is the caravan.”

Worth Valley councillor Glen Miller, the Tory group leader on Bradford Council, has criticised a lack of Tour information and communication from council officers.

“As a councillor in a ward that will be affected, I feel we have been extremely poorly briefed by officers,” he said.

“I have contacted the assistant director, who agreed they hadn’t been very good on the matter, and said councillors would now get monthly updates so we can keep people informed.”

The council spokesman responded: “So far we have been briefing councillors as and when relevant information has been made available by Tour de France/Welcome to Yorkshire. Councillors have received invitations to the public meetings we have held.

“More regular meetings are planned as the event gets closer.”

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