ROADS in North Yorkshire which will be closed when the Tour de France comes to the region this summer have been confirmed.
The closure programme has been drawn up by North Yorkshire County Council for July 5 and 6, when Yorkshire will host the opening stages of Le Grand Depart, the curtain-raiser for the world-famous cycle race.
Exact timings will be decided by factors such as race and arrival times and crowd levels, with the council saying the list will give residents an idea of which roads in the Hambleton, Harrogate, Richmondshire and Craven districts will be affected. The authority's leader, Coun John Weighell, said: "It's important to remember just how massive this event is going to be.
"We are told that possibly a million people will be converging on North Yorkshire from all over the world. It's estimated that in North and West Yorkshire, for stage one of the Grand Depart from Leeds to Harrogate on July 5, up to 900,000 spectators will be wanting to watch the action - enough people to fill Wembley Stadium ten times over - and it's been estimated that 650,000 of these spectators will be in North Yorkshire."
Coun Weighell said the crowd is expected to top one million for the second stage on Sunday, July 6, starting in York and heading to Knaresborough, Starbeck, Harrogate and Sheffield, saying: "This is a huge logistical challenge and it will not be confined to the weekend.
"We anticipate the build-up, and some disruption on the roads, will occur throughout the preceding week."
Although the minimum closure period is eight hours, roads affected are expected to be closed for most of the Grand Depart weekend. There will also be closures and traffic measures on other roads leading to the race route, with more information on these being released in spring.
North Yorkshire's Tour de France road closure programme
Saturday, July 5:
Hambleton: A6108 Binsoe to West Tanfield.
Harrogate: A6108 Jervaulx to Binsoe; A6108 West Tanfield to Ripon bypass; A61 Ripon bypass to A59/A61 New Park roundabout; A61 Ripon Road and Parliament Street, Harrogate; most of Harrogate town centre.
Richmondshire: B6160 from Kidstones to A684 junction near West Burton; A684 from B6160 to Hawes; C32 from Hawes to Thwaite (Buttertubs); B6270 from Thwaite to Grinton; C106 from Grinton to Leyburn; A6108 from Moor Lane, Leyburn to Wensley Road, Leyburn (west of Leyburn Market Place); A684 from the roundabout next to the Bolton Arms to A6108 Middleham Road (Leyburn); A6108 from Leyburn to Jervaulx.
Craven: A65 from the county boundary to the A6069 Otley Road junction; A6069 from the A65 to Skipton High Street; A6131 Skipton High Street; B6265 from Skipton High Street to Threshfield; B6160 from Threshfield to Kidstones.
Sunday, July 6
Harrogate: A59 Moor Monkton to A658/A59 roundabout (Harrogate bypass); A59/A658 roundabout to A59/ A661 roundabout (Empress roundabout); A59 Empress roundabout to Blubberhouses Moor.
Craven: A59 Blubberhouses Moor to Bolton Abbey roundabout; B6160 Bolton Abbey to county boundary.