After weeks of waiting, the route for the Yorkshire leg of the 2014 Tour de France has been announced this morning.
Bereaved family speak out after second fatal lorry crash
The family of a Northumberland cyclist, who was killed on her way to work, say the legal system is failing to protect vulnerable road users.
The following roads will be affected by road closures during the Pearl Isumi Tour Series - which is due to take place around the Durham area today.
- Quarryheads Lane (south) – strictly residents only access between 7.00am and midday. Road closed from midday to midnight.
- Grove Street, Margery Lane (south) and Quarryheads Lane (north) – road closed from 7.00am to midnight.
- *North Road (east/bottom of Crossgate) *– road closed from 10.00am to midnight.
- Margery Lane (north), Crossgate, South Street, Pimlico – road closed from midday to midnight.
The A690 Crossgate Peth and Alexandria Crescent will remain open at all times.
The first road race of cycling's Premier Calendar began in Weardale. 130 cyclists competed over five laps of the route around Blanchlands and Edmundbyers. Chris Opie, from Cornwall, won the first day. The second stage, on Sunday, will take place around Derwent Reservoir.
Organisers of Le Grand Depart, the Yorkshire leg of the Tour de France, are meeting with tourism bosses at a conference in Leeds today to discuss plans for promoting the region over the next 12 months.
The official entry of the "caravane publicitaire" will also be unveiled. This is the decorated vehicle, which precedes the race.
The Government have now pledged 10 million pounds for the grand Depart of the Tour de France in Yorkshire.
It comes after a delegation of MPs met with the Culture Secretary Maria Miller tonight to ask for a rethink when a request for funding was turned down.
“This fantastic news comes after months of hard work at Westminster and across Yorkshire from MPs. The investment will support Yorkshire in making sure we capitalise on the opportunities that come from having the world’s largest annual sporting event in our County.
“I will now be working closely with the Government and Yorkshire’s Tour de France team to ensure we have the structure and governance in place to deliver an outstanding event next year that showcases Yorkshire to the world.
– Julian Smith, MP for Skipton and Ripon
“No-one can underestimate what having the Tour de France in Yorkshire means. There will be billions watching on television, millions on the streets and thousands of hotels, bed and breakfasts, shops, pubs, restaurants and other tourist destinations benefiting. We will also see investment in our roads and facilities along the route that will provide long-lasting positives for Yorkshire.
In a letter to the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council, the Minister for Sport and Tourism says it is "with regret" that he has to raise a number of concerns about its proposal.
Hugh Robertston MP thanks Tom Riordan for sending him Welcome to Yorkshire's business plan for the delivery of the Tour de France Grand Depart in 2014. He continues
... you do not appear to have put in place any arrangements to deliver the event outside Yorkshire. There appears to be nothing in the business plan about the Cambridge and London legs of the event. I understand that your primary focus is on Yorkshire but I am sure you will agree that an event of this importance needs a single over-arching organising committee to ensure that it is delivered successfully from start to finish.
– Rt Hon Hugh Robertson MP, Minister for Sport and Tourism
..... I am sure you will also agree that it is difficult, if not impossible, for UK Sport to consider funding for this event, until it has detailed information about the delivery of the event, as a whole, including the costs, not just the Grand Depart in Yorkshire. Furthermore, UK Sport cannot provide significant amounts of funding for the Welcome to Yorkshire tourism strategy. This is entirely outside of their scope, which is to deliver first class sporting events in the UK.
In a handwritten footnote, he says:
"There is a real desire inside Government to get this right and get on with delivery. However we do not yet have confidence in the budget, which still seems very unsettled."
A DELEGATION of Yorkshire MPs will meet the Culture Secretary this morning to plead for public support for the region’s hosting of the Tour De France after the Government sensationally rejected its initial funding bid.
In a shock move, Hugh Robertson, the Minister for Sports and Tourism, informed event organisers last night their request for several million pounds towards the cost of hosting the Tour’s Grand Départ has been turned down.
Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith will today lead a delegation of 15 Conservative MPs from the region to meet Culture Secretary Maria Miller to try to agree a funding package directly.
The MPs will press Ms Miller to provide up to £10m to ensure the Grand Départ is a success, and remain optimistic of agreeing a funding package.
Mr Smith said: “Yorkshire Conservative MPs have worked relentlessly over the past few months to secure a major funding commitment for ‘Le Tour’. I am confident we should have positive news very soon.”
A North Yorkshire MP has warned tomorrow "could be a rocky day" as organisers wait to find out whether they have secured funding to help Yorkshire host the Tour de France in 2014.
Julian Smith, who represents Skipton and Ripon, will meet Culture Secretary Maria Miller tomorrow to discuss the bid for cash.
Stage One is described as the stage of romance and wonder, passing seven castles and seven abbeys. It starts in the Headrow goes north, then turns west towards Otley and Ilkley on its way to Skipton. Then it heads for the Dales before heading back through Ripon to the finish in Harrogate.
Stage Two is being called the past, present and future stage. It starts at Clifford's Tower in York, and heads west through Knaresborough to Keighley.
Then it's into Bronte Country, and onto the Pennines, passing through Hebden Bridge before climbing up onto the moors en route to Huddersfield and the notorious Holme Moss climb, Woodhead pass and the finish at the Sheffield Arena.
You can see a step by step guide to the route here.