Bradford Council planners assured a Keighley public meeting that crucial information about the Tour de France will be released in time to help people fully prepare for this summer’s event.
They were addressing concerns that precise details on road closures and the likely impact on public transport are not yet available when the world’s most famous bike race starts in Yorkshire.
The planning team held at meeting at Victoria Hall on Saturday which was attended by parish and town councillors, church leaders and traders.
Keighley town councillor Graham Mitchell stressed the importance of “two-way communication”, warning that most of town’s population had yet to grasp the sheer scale of the event which will run through parts of the Bradford district on July 5 and 6.
Steve Seymour, manager of Keighley’s Airedale Shopping Centre, said he was also waiting to learn vital details on how his centre can operate on July 6 when the riders will pass through the town.
Darren Badrock, network manager with Bradford Council’s highways department, said he expected to have more concrete information by the end of this month.
He said roads on the race route would be closed from about 7am on the day, and would remain shut after the cyclists and accompanying vehicles have passed by, to allow time for spectators to disperse.
“We have to be very careful with what we say about timings,” he said. “If we say a particular road will be open again at 3pm, that will mean someone getting in their car at five to three and driving straight into a crowd of spectators.”
Addressing the need to maximise car parking resources, he added: “We’re looking at having parking in the industrial estate north of Hard Ings Road. We’re actively looking for car parking sites, and we’re interested in hearing from people who have land available.
“We estimate that about 80 per cent of people coming to see the Tour will come in a car or camper van.”
Bradford Council sports events officer Andy Ross said the Council was offering online advice to people interested in setting up campsites to accommodate some of the thousands of visitors.
He said people who want to offer that do not need a formal licence to do so, but should notify the Council and consider factors such as insurance and access to clean drinking water.