A top-level assurance has been given that the Tour de France caravan – a cavalcade that accompanies the world-famous cycle race – will go through Haworth.
Fears had been voiced that vehicles involved in the long procession might struggle to negotiate the junction of Shaw Lane and Hebden Bridge Road, at Oxenhope, forcing the caravan to by-pass the Bronte village.
But a Bradford Council spokesman said: “We have been assured by the Tour organisers that the caravan will make its way through Haworth, on Rawdon Road.”
The loss of the procession of vehicles would also have jeopardised Haworth’s hopes of acting as a spectator hub, which could include a large-screen TV in the park and race commentary, when the cyclists arrive on July 6.
Resident Graham Smith said he had picked up on the different route at a Tour meeting held in the village last week, hosted by the Council.
“It instantly started alarm bells ringing in my head,” he said.
“The previous information we had was that the cyclists and as much as possible would go up Main Street and the tableaux etc on Rawdon Road – that was the understanding.
“If we didn’t get the caravan through Haworth, it would be a travesty for the village. It would be like having Notting Hill carnival without the parade and have a severe impact on the attendance. The attraction for many people is the caravan.”
Councillor Glen Miller, the Tory group leader on the Council who represents the Worth Valley ward, has criticised a lack of Tour information and communication from Council officers.
“As a councillor in a ward that will be affected I feel we have been extremely poorly briefed by officers,” he said.
“I have contacted the assistant director who agreed they hadn’t been very good on the matter and said councillors would now get monthly updates so we can keep people informed.”
A Council spokesman said: “So far we have been briefing councillors as and when relevant information has been made available by Tour de France/ Welcome to Yorkshire.
“Councillors have received invitations to the public meetings that we have held. More regular meetings are planned as the event gets closer.”
- A telephone number dedicated to providing information about this year’s Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire is now available. The number – 0843 5072014 – reflects the fact that the Grand Depart is taking place in the county on July 5, 2014. Callers will hear the voice of Gary Verity, the chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, direct them to a series of options providing advice and information on everything from the Stage One and Two routes and volunteering, to where to stay and road closures and parking. Mr Verity said: “This is a great initiative by NGC Networks and a first for me! The information line will be vital for people who don’t have access to the internet – it will provide them with up-to-the-minute details on everything they need to know about the Grand Depart.”