On July 6th 2014, Calderdale hosts 22 miles of the the world’s biggest annual sporting event as the Tour de France comes to Yorkshire, generating an estimated £100 million for the regional economy.
Le Tour will not pass directly through any part of Heptonstall, Colden or Blackshaw, but the influx of visitors will have a huge impact on our communities. There will be many issues to consider such as parking, camping, bus service, road closures etc.
At a public meeting in Heptonstall on 27 January, Katie Kinsella, Principal Officer-Tourism at Calderdale MBC, spoke about how the event will affect the locality.
On the day, Sunday 6 July 2014, Stage 2 of the Grand Départ enters Calderdale at Cock Hill passing over the summit of a climb between Oxenhope and Hebden Bridge. From there the riders will descend quickly as the road cuts through the open moorland, passing through Peckett Well and Wadsworth and onto the super-fast tree lined descent to Hebden Bridge. The route then continues from Hebden Bridge to Mytholmroyd on the flat of the A646 for a short distance, before taking on England’s longest continuous road climb, Cragg Vale, as part of the 200km Stage 2 between York and Sheffield.
A great many visitors will come to the area over the weekend, and the A6033 Keighley Road and A646 Halifax Road from Hebden Bridge will be closed for much of the race day from about 7:00am (final details yet to be announced – updates at http://letour.yorkshire.com/road-closures).
Prior to the race itself, due through Hebden Bridge at about 1:30pm, the seven mile long “Caravan” will pass along the route from around 11:45am. This cavalcade of floats, decorated cars and other vehicles moves along the route, throwing out goodies and free samples to the spectators, and is a massive advertising stunt. The Caravan, made up of the Tour’s official sponsors, is followed by a long line of official cars, technical vehicles, media and motorbikes, lights flashing, horns sounding, all warming up the spectators for the actual event itself.
All this will be a great spectacle for all, and is expected to bring a great deal of business for local traders and businesses.
More details about the event are available on the Visit Calderdale website event page, or on the Welcome to Yorkshire website.
Heptonstall’s own Fell Race is being planned to take place on Saturday 5 July 2014, adding more local interest to this exciting weekend.