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Commonwealth Day flags to be raised in Leeds

The Commonwealth flag will once again be flown proudly in Leeds next week, as part of a day of celebrations to mark Commonwealth Day.

Leeds Civic Hall Credit: ITV Yorkshire

After a successful inaugural event last year, over 650 Commonwealth Flags are set to be raised in 38 Commonwealth countries as part of the event on Monday 9 March 2015.

In Leeds to honour the occasion, two Commonwealth Flags will be hoisted at Leeds Civic Hall and Leeds Town Hall.

On the day, the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr David Congreve will also read out a special Commonwealth message on the steps of the civic hall from Her Majesty The Queen, before the flag is officially raised at 10am.

Members of the public are welcome to join the Lord Mayor at the ceremony from 9.50am, who will also be accompanied on the steps by children from Hugh Gaitskell Primary School.

For more details on the flag ceremonies taking place, please see:


Tour de Yorkshire timings announced

The start and finish times for the Tour de Yorkshire have been announced today, along with the precise location details of the race starts and finishes.

The major international cycling race will be held on the 1st – 3rd May with the routes for the three days taking the event through some of the county’s most spectacular scenery.

Tour de Yorkshire Credit: Welcome To Yorkshire

The routes were announced in Bridlington earlier this year and now the race organisers, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Amaury Sport Organisation based in France, have announced the timings and details of the location starts and finishes.

Stage one from Bridlington to Scarborough will have a ceremonial start at 11.45am on South Marine Drive outside the Bridlington Spa. Riders will have a 5km neutralised section before the official race start at Sewerby at 12 noon.

Depending on rider’s speed the race will finish between 4pm and 4.30pm on Royal Albert Drive in Scarborough.

Key timings for stage one include Dalby Forest King of the Mountain climb at approximately 1.15pm, a sprint through Pickering at approximately 1.40pm, Rosedale Abbey King of the Mountain climb at approximately 2.08pm, Grosmont King of the Mountain climb at approximately 2.52pm, the Whitby Sprint at around 3.09pm and the finish in Scarborough between 4pm and 4.30pm depending on the speed of the riders.

Stage two, from Selby to York, will have a ceremonial start at 11.20am outside Selby Abbey.

Riders will have an 8km neutralised section before the official race start just outside Selby on the A163 at 11.45am. Depending on riders’ speed, the race will finish between 3.30pm and 4pm on Knavesmire Road in York.

Key points in stage two include the race reaching North Newbald King of the Mountain climb at approximately 12.30pm, the Wetwang Sprint at approximately 1.23pm, Fimber King of the Mountain climb at approximately 1.29pm with the York Sprint and first crossing of the finish line, ahead of two laps of the City at approximately 2.40pm

Stage three, from Wakefield to Leeds, will start at 12.15pm outside Wakefield Cathedral.

Riders will have a 4km neutralised section before the official race start at Agbrigg Road on the A61 at 12.30pm. Depending on riders’ speed the race will finish 4.30pm and 5pm at Roundhay Park in Leeds.

Key points in stage three include the race reaching the Holmfirth King of the Mountain climb at approximately 1.28pm, Scapegoat King of the Mountain climb at approximately 1.51pm Hebden Bridge King of the Mountain climb at approximately 2.48pm, Goose Eye King of the Mountain climb at approximately 3.11pm, the Ilkley Sprint at approximately 3.59pm, the Cow & Calf King of the Mountain climb at approximately 3.42pm, Chevin King of the Mountain climb at approximately 3.59pm, and the final Arthington Sprint before the finish in Leeds at approximately 4.12pm.

There will be over 500km throughout Yorkshire where people can choose to see the race over the three days.

Details of the Tour de Yorkshire route and timings can be viewed at

“Today’s confirmation of the timings and precise routes in and out of the start and finish towns and cities will help fans, spectators and businesses who can now begin to plan their weekend, where to watch and how to get the best out of the event.

"This is going to be an extremely exciting three days for Yorkshire”.

– Gary Verity, Welcome To Yorkshire

“Our technical team had a good final visit to Yorkshire and we are very happy with the route the riders will take.

"With 515km in total there are some excellent opportunities throughout the three days for spectators to see riders take Sprint and King of the Mountain climb points, ahead of finish lines designed to generate the kind of welcome that Yorkshire spectators gave the peloton in the Tour de France”.

– Thierry Gouvenou, Tour de France Sports Director

The race, which will be one of the most exciting cycling events held in Europe in 2015 and will be broadcast in the UK, and on Eurosport, to 70 countries around the world.

Maps of the Tour de Yorkshire race starts and finishes, timings and information for spectators can be found at,

Pallet yard ablaze after large fire

Firefighters are at the scene of what they describe as a 'large' fire at Leeds Pallet Company on Pontrfract Lane in Leeds.

West Yorkshire Fire service have said that no one has been injured but 30% of pallets were involved in the fire.


Miners' Strike: 30 years on from NUM's return to work

Today marks the 30th anniversary of the end of the miner's strike.

Orgreave in March, 1984 Credit: Press Association

The bitter dispute left lasting scars in communities throughout the region.

Now, with the industry facing extinction there are still calls from some MPs, union officials and academics for an investigation into the strike and the actions of those surrounding it.

Click below to watch David Hirst's report:

Yorkshire man returns from Kurdistan after fighting Isis

A Yorkshire security guard has returned home after travelling to Kurdistan - to fight against the terrorist organisation Isis

Yasir Abdulla has spent six months fighting in Kurdistan, the home country he left 15 years ago to move to Britain, because he was appalled at the brutality of the organisation he says has tortured and killed his countrymen and women.

We cannot independently verify the pictures in this report, but Yasir says they were filmed by him in an area of Northern Iraq which I.S is attempting to infiltrate.

Michael Billington reports

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