Roads shut for 12 hours on Tour de France route

The Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire this summer
The Tour de France is coming to Yorkshire this summer

Road closures of at least 12 hours are being prepared for the north and east of Sheffield to accommodate the Tour de France.

Transport managers this week urged spectators to plan their route carefully to see the world’s most famous cycle race on Sunday, July 6 - and warned of the disruption, most likely between 7.30am and 7.30pm.

Extra trams and trains will be provided to help spectators - up to 250,000 visitors are predicted - to reach vantage points.

The Grand Depart enters Sheffield at Midhopestones, moving to High Bradfield, Worrall, Oughtibridge, Grenoside, Hillsborough, Wincobank and the Lower Don Valley, before finishing at Attercliffe near the Motorpoint Arena.

Spectacular locations such as High Bradfield, Jawbone Hill at Oughtibridge and Jenkin Road in Wincobank will be among the most popular locations - and getting there will be a logistical test for many people because of the road closures.

Roads on and connected to the route in Sheffield are expected to be closed for a minimum of 12 hours to allow the route to be prepared, infrastructure to be put in place, the Tour’s publicity ‘caravan’ of vehicles and cyclists to pass through and for the dispersal of spectators and infrastructure after the race.

The longest road closures will be around the finish line, about 36 hours, from Saturday morning until Sunday evening. Up to 40,000 people are expected to use a spectator ‘hub’ at Don Valley Bowl.

David Young, of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said the Tour was “a fantastic event” for the region, but warned of widespread road closures and significant changes to bus services.

“We are also urging those that don’t plan to watch the cycle race, but need to travel on Sunday July 6 to check for changes to their regular journey or route in advance.”

The practical implications of Sheffield hosting a stage of the world’s third biggest sporting event after the Olympics and the World Cup, are beginning to sink in.

One resident of Fox Hill, railway signalman John Flowers, aged 57, has even set up a website to show how the race will ‘cut off’ his community, urging the council to look at compromises on road closures. “Deep down, everyone in Fox Hill is quite proud of how Sheffield will be in the spotlight, but they just feel that being cut off for so long is over the top,” he said.