>> 100+ pictures from York's historic TdF day

YORK residents who want to reclaim their streets in the wake of the Tour de France parties have been encouraged to seize the initiative.

Kersten England, chief executive of City of York Council, said the authority would strive to work with any residents wanting to organise events to build on the buoyant community spirit displayed during Sunday's Grand Depart in York.

Bishopthorpe Road residents and traders held an afternoon street-party and there was a festival atmosphere in much of the city.

Mrs England said: "We saw a huge party going on in many places, and an energy and optimism and fun. More than one person said to me "Can we do this every Sunday?"."

She cited the example of San Francisco's "Sunday Streets" project, which closes streets in different neighbourhoods on different Sundays, to allow recreation and community events.

She urged residents who wanted to organise events to take the lead and said the council would work to help with practicalities such as road closures and providing waste facilities.

"We want to encourage communities to get together more often and we do not want to get in the way of that happening," she said. "We would really like this stuff to happen so we can make it easy not difficult."

Johnny Hayes, chair of the Bishy Road Traders Association and co-organiser of Sunday's party, said it was a success because it was created by and for the local community. He said: "It is great to hear that City of York Council will do anything they can to help other local traders and communities organise similar events.

"The success of our recent party was down to excellent support from the council and also all our stewards who were local people who kindly gave up their time to ensure the event was safe and successful. We urge other communities to go for it and plan an event."

>> 100+ pictures from York's historic TdF day

York Press: Image from PictureGalleryModule_ID:3184025


Mrs England is responsible for the legacy of the Tour de France and said she wanted the huge success of the weekend's Grand Depart in Yorkshire to be a springboard for community activity in York and for cycling.

She said: "Specifically for York, we have improvements already in infrastructure, such as the velodrome, and we have the Sky Rides coming up again in September."

She said there were more organised bike rides than ever before and praised the work of the Bike Belles, seeking to encourage more women to cycle, and organisations such as York Bike Rescue and Cycle Heaven, helping to promote cycling.

"We are trying to make it easier to access bikes and to access routes across the city," she said.

North Yorkshire County Council leader John Weighell said: "I am confident we shall be counting the benefits of this extraordinary event for many years to come. North Yorkshire looked fabulous, and there can be no doubt that our vitally-important tourism economy will reap huge rewards from this amazing international promotion.”