RECENTLY we have had to endure the near hysteric press and TV coverage of the impending visit of Le Tour to Yorkshire.
Although I do not have a problem with this visit, unfortunately some misinformation has been published by those who should know better.
One of your readers wrote to state that the tour would be passed in a flash, thereby inferring little or no disruption over a wide area to those who have not fallen in love with the bicycle-clip culture.
Three years ago I was visiting northern Holland when I was preventing moving around the Goes city area for four hours during the “passing” of Le Tour with all but the motorway closed, the huge police presence and the tour’s camp-follows of I estimate a thousand vehicles.
A green credential all cyclists should be proud of – let’s hope with our track record for flooding they all have packed their inflatables.
Keith Isaac, Byron Drive, York.
• The Tour De France coming to Yorkshire should be applauded as an achievement and a welcome boost to the local economy; but was it was it really necessary for the Chef Executive and Leader of York Council to travel to Paris to have their picture taken in front of the Arc de Triomphe (The Press, January 18)? What did this achieve? And what did it cost taxpayers? Who paid for the travel and accommodation?
We are continually being told of unavoidable cuts to services because of financial constraints and that we should all cut down on non-essential travel to reduce our carbon footprint. Yet those at the top think nothing of swanning off on a jolly across the channel without any obvious justification. The decision to include York has already been announced. This little jaunt would appear to be nothing more than an indulgence; a publicity photo opportunity on a municipal ego trip.
Matthew Laverack, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York.
• I READ with great interest that Harry Gration, despite his recent serious illness, has expressed his intention to have a go at the York Marathon (The Press, January 15).
Harry’s eagerness to support this new venture can only be admired and I wish him well.
Certainly his connection with the event is welcome and will lend a certain amount of gravitas, especially at a time when the city has succeeded in hosting a leg of the Tour de France.
Events such as these, although causing some inconvenience to council taxpayers, do encourage tourism. They will also create income and some employment. Certainly these activities will go some way in keeping down our taxes which are due out next month.
It is good to see our council support initiatives of this type. It is to be hoped that from their new offices furnished with new desks they will have the facilities to continue to succeed.
I note that the chief executive Kersten England and Leader of the Council James Alexander found time and the financial resource to celebrate their success over the Tour of France on the streets of Paris. Clearly we are all in this together.
My only point of doubt is whether or not chief executive England and Coun Alexander intend to use their own bicycles for the tour or if the council will provide them with one each.
Vive la France!
Tony Wareham, Linton Road, Nether Poppleton, York.
• JAMES ALEXANDER is by no means alone, but was the straw that broke the camel’s back in The Press of January 18 by being quoted as saying that the benefit of the Tour de France starting in Yorkshire in 2014 “cannot be underestimated” ie can NOT be understated. Of course too little could be said about something that will allegedly be wonderful.
In other words it is the opposite of what he, I’m sure, intended to say – that the benefits of Le Grand Départ cannot be overestimated, that is that it is impossible to say too much about how beneficial it will be.
I despair at the number of national, public and sports figures who misuse this term: this was local so I felt I could at least appeal to citizens of York & Yorkshire to use this phrase as it was intended. The relief to me can not be overstated!
Dorothy Nicholson, Grange Garth, York.