London’s preparations for Tour de France get into gear
With just over a month to go, London is marking the return of the Tour de France with a 'Fête du Tour' - a day of simultaneous celebrations of cycling in host cities and towns along the whole route of the world's largest annual sporting event.
Festivities will be held at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) as well as across Yorkshire, Cambridge, Essex and throughout France.
The activities will include a road show for cyclists of all abilities, mountain bike displays, bike security marking, French food stalls and official Tour de France merchandise available to buy.
An extensive programme of public engagement and communication around the arrival of the Tour de France in the capital is now underway similar to that developed during the London 2012 Olympics, to help businesses and the public plan and get around on the day and make the most of the return of the prestigious event.
From today maps showing the areas inside the M25 that will be affected by the race are available at tfl.gov.uk/tourdefrance, along with a range of advice.
Road closures for the event will begin after the morning peak at 10:00, with roads reopening as quickly as possible once the Tour has passed through and it is safe to do so.
TfL anticipates that all roads will be reopened by 18:00. Tower, Southwark and Westminster Bridges will be closed for much of the day but there are no planned closures on any other major river crossings in Central London. Pedestrians will be able to cross the route at key crossing points and we are working with local businesses close to the route to ensure that disruption is kept to a minimum. Tube and rail services will be the best way to get around London on the day.
Stations along the route, and particularly at the Finish on The Mall, are, of course, expected to be very busy.
Leaflet drops to residents and businesses along the route are being carried out, and TfL and partners are working with the local boroughs and businesses and hosting public information sessions to ensure that everyone who wants to can enjoy the event and Londoners can plan their journeys and continue to get around the city on the day.
Garrett Emmerson, Chief Operating Officer of Surface Transport at TfL, said: "We've been working long and hard to plan for this great event's return to the capital and now we are asking Londoners to start their planning too. "We will keep the capital moving, and roads around the race route will, of course, be extremely busy. So we're asking people to plan ahead and preferably use public transport to make the most of what I'm sure will be an amazing day that will help cement London's growing reputation as a major cycling city and encourage more Londoners to travel by bike."
The Tour de France - the world's largest annual sporting event - comes to London on Monday 7 July after two stages in Yorkshire.
Around 200 elite cyclists will travel from Cambridge, through Essex, into London before a spectacular finish on The Mall. The iconic Tour de France will draw people onto the streets of London from near and far, and help to inspire more people to take up cycling.
Hosting world renowned events such as the Tour reinforces London's reputation as a world-class host of cultural, sporting and business events.
Visitors, both domestic and overseas, are brought to the capital by major events, delivering direct and indirect economic benefits, and showcasing London to a much wider audience.
There will be a range of ways for Londoners and visitors to get into the spirit of the event. QEOP will play a major role in the Tour when spectators will be able to watch the elite cycling action in the official Tour de France Fan Parks. In addition to QEOP, there will be Fan Parks sites at Green Park and Trafalgar Square.
The Fan Park sites will feature a wide range of different activities and live Tour de France racing on a big screen.
- The detailed Tour de France route is available on the TfL website at tfl.gov.uk/tourdefrance. To avoid delays drivers are advised to, wherever possible, avoid areas near the event routes in the affected parts of Cambridgeshire, Essex and London. For up to date information on how transport services are operating, Londoners are advised to check before they travel at tfl.gov.uk and follow @TfLTravelAlerts (Tube, DLR and London Overground), @TfLTrafficNews (roads) and @TfLBusAlerts (buses)
- The Tour de France will kick off a spectacular summer of cycling in London, with the exciting event followed by Prudential RideLondon on the 9 and 10 August and then the Tour of Britain, which finishes in the capital on 14 September
- The Tour de France is the world's largest annual sporting event and covers approximately 3,500kms. A worldwide television audience of 3.5billion people watch the event annually. There will be 190 countries broadcasting the Tour de France and there are 5,000 hours of TV coverage annually. The last time the Tour visited England was in 2007 when London hosted the Grand Départ, which is the opening of the race
- This summer's cycling events are likely to inspire thousands more Londoners to take to two wheels, building on the Mayor's ambition for cycling to be an integral part of the transport network. As part of his cycling vision, the Mayor is already engaging in a vast £1billion programme of improvements - creating a series of enhanced cycling superhighways, urban 'quietways' for more cautious cyclists, and turning some outer boroughs into mini-Hollands
- For more information on the Mayor's Vision for Cycling visit http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/about-tfl/how-we-work/planning-for-the-future/vision-for-cycling
- Pedestrians and cyclists will be able to cross the route at designated crossings, where marshals will ensure safety of all. Once the roads close, cyclists will not be able to ride on the route roads
- The Mayor is committed to ensuring London retains its status as the world capital of sport, and has set up the Major Events Oversight Board. The board is chaired by Sir Edward Lister, and comprises of TfL, the emergency services and other key partner agencies. It provides strategic direction and advice to the Mayor on the approach to bidding, staging and evaluating major events in London. The board ensures that all major road events continue to be carefully considered and tightly managed to ensure everyone gets full benefit from the event without undue impact on Londoners and London's transport. The board also looks at ways to ensure the major events programme is effectively communicated with Londoners, visitors, businesses and stakeholders to allow sufficient notice and forward planning for everyone. Events like these appeal to Londoners, bring in domestic and overseas visitors and, through media coverage, showcase London to a much wider audience across the world. They deliver direct and indirect economic benefits. Prudential RideLondon 2013 delivered £13m spend in its first year.