As excitement builds for the Grand Depart in Yorkshire, the Highways Agency is reminding road users that a number of its roads will be affected by tour traffic. Thousands of visitors and locals will head to watch the world famous Tour de France Grand Depart on 5 and 6 July.
Highways Agency Emergency Planning Manager, Guy Huckle, said: The key to making the most of this wonderful weekend is to plan ahead. Choose in advance where you want to watch the race from and plan your journey. Check our traffic and travel information channels, set off early and allow plenty of time to get to your chosen spot. The large number of visitors to the region means journeys will take longer than usual over the weekend.
The Agency will be bolstering its service to customers in a variety of ways, including putting on additional Traffic Officer patrols, enhancing the free recovery services in place on the M1 Smart Motorways schemes and will have additional contractor resources on standby to deal with incidents.
There are no planned closures on the Highways Agency network for the first day of the tour (Saturday 5 July) but plans are in place to manage traffic at key locations on the network:
A66 / A1(M) / M1 – hard signing, variable message signs and directional signs in place to inform drivers
A1(M) junction 45, 47 and 48 – traffic management will be in place all day on Saturday to manage any delays at these junctions as drivers head towards Harrogate
On the second day of the tour (Sunday 6 July) there will be a number of closures in place:
A1(M) junction 47 – exit slip roads will be closed from 3am on Sunday morning until the afternoon (re-opening time dependent on race progress and traffic conditions)
M62 junction 24 – exit slip roads closed from 5.30am on Sunday morning until late afternoon (re-opening time dependent on race progress and traffic conditions)
A628 – will be closed between 00.01am on Sunday morning until 9pm on Sunday evening. There will be a full closure between Tintwistle (Old Road junction with the A628) and Stocksbridge (Manchester Road junction with A616). There will also be additional eastbound restrictions in place between Motram (A57 junction with the A6108) and Tintwistle (Old Road junction with A628). Between these locations there will only be access eastbound to authorised vehicles and residents
A1(M) junction 47 – traffic management will be in place all day Saturday to manage any delays for drivers heading to Harrogate
M1/ M62 /M6 – hard signing, variable message signs and directional signs in place to inform drivers
In addition, along the A628 and A616 there will be no waiting or parking from Old Road, Tintwistle, to Manchester Road, Stocksbridge, from 00:01am on Monday 30 June to 11:59pm Sunday 6 July. During this time there will be no parking along the road or verges and any driver who leaves their vehicle will be liable to have it removed. The lay-bys along these roads will remain open until the evening of Friday 4 June. Any vehicles in the lay-bys after this point will have to remain there for the weekend until the roads re-open after the race.
The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website www.highways.gov.uk/traffic, iPhone app, local radio travel bulletins and electronic road signs. Travel information is also available by phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 and updates will be provided via Twitter @HAtraffic_yorks More information on local road closures can be found on your local council website or at http://letour.yorkshire.com/travel
In 2012, the Roads Minister asked the Highways Agency to investigate cycle provision hotspots on the Agency’s road network. Working closely with Sustrans, the charity which works to encourage sustainable transport, and using information from The Times ‘Cities Fit for Cycling’ campaign, the Agency identified 100 potential locations. Feasibility studies were carried out on the 20 highest priority sites and, following liaison with the Cyclist’s Touring Club and British Cycling, a list of 13 schemes across the country was drawn up to be delivered this year.
The Agency has also developed a new approach to developing cycling schemes which sees cycling improvements assessed separately from schemes for motorised vehicles. By separating out the cycling schemes the Agency guarantees that the highest priority locations will be considered for the construction of future cycling schemes.