Roads will be closed for up to 15 hours in Leeds to ensure the world’s greatest cycle race rolls into action as planned on Saturday July 5.
Leeds City Council (LCC) has revealed its plans to close miles of city roads so the world’s top cyclists can ride from The Headrow for the start of stage one of the Tour de France.
The Headrow, Eastgate and the roads around Millennium Square will be closed from Friday July 4 at midnight to Saturday July 5 at around 3pm, while roads from Regent Street to Harewood will close for over 10 hours from the Saturday at 4.30am and highways from Harewood to the Bradford border will close for 10 hours from 5am.
The plans also show widespread parking restrictions and new park and ride facilities as the city centre is locked down to host hundreds of thousands of fans.
The news comes after a report to North Yorkshire County Council’s Police and Crime Panel revealed up to 600 roads will close for the Tour’s visit, while road closures around the stage two finish line at Sheffield’s Motorpoint Arena, in Attercliffe, will last around 36 hours, from the Saturday morning until Sunday evening.
Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills Coun Lucinda Yeadon said: “The Tour de France is much more than a bike race – it is a real spectacle and for years to come people in Leeds and beyond will be saying ‘I was there’ – so be a part of this fantastic event and make the most of an amazing day.”
Almost 200 cyclists will set off from outside Leeds Art Gallery, on The Headrow, on July 5 at 11.10am before taking on the 190km stage one route from Leeds to Harrogate.
Thousands of fans are expected to watch on from official Grand Depart spectator hubs including Leeds city centre and Harewood House.
Due to the influx of fans there are some exceptions to the timings stated, with the A61 Harrogate Road northbound from the A6120 Leeds Outer Ring Road not closing until 6.30am on July 5 to allow access for parking at the Harewood Estate, and the A658 Main Street at Pool and Crossgates, in Otley, staying open until 8am.
The lengthy closures are to allow the route to be prepared, infrastructure to be put in place and removed afterwards, and for crowds to be managed safely.
Coun Yeadon said: “I would urge everyone to read and follow the guidance carefully so they can decide how they want to make the most of the day or how they can best limit the interruption to their usual routine.”
Some city centre car parks will be closed or have limited access, but park and ride will be in operation at Elland Road and Temple Newsam on July 5, from 5.30am to 8pm, with transport into the city centre. Parking will be free but return shuttle journeys will cost up to £3.
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