£6m spent on repairing Tour de France routes
Updated 7:02pm Monday 30th June 2014 in Tour de France news
COUNCILS in Yorkshire have spent almost £6 million pounds preparing the roads for next week's Tour de France.
Information released through Freedom of Information requests shows the road works bill ahead of the race tops £5.95 million, with £4.2 million of that in North Yorkshire County Council's area.
In total, around three quarters of the cash has been brought forward from work planned for future years, and in North Yorkshire that figure swells to 90 percent.
Now the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), which found the figures, is warning the investment could cause trouble in years to come.
Rob Hindle, chair of RICS Yorkshire & Humber Regional Board, said: “The Tour de France Grand Départ is the biggest sporting event to come to Yorkshire, and the entire region is gearing up to welcome the riders.
“While we welcome the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire and all the economic benefits it will bring, we certainly hope that by bringing forward so much work on Yorkshire’s roads to before the race, the region won’t be left without adequate maintenance for years to come.
“As the largest – and one of the most rural – regions in the UK, good roads are vital for Yorkshire’s prosperity. We don’t want a feast today if it means a famine tomorrow.”
North Yorkshire County Council countered the RICS's claims, and pointed to large government grants which the council has recently to help maintain its large road network in the future.
A spokesman said: “We have brought forward a programme of works to get our roads ready for the Tour de France, but we will continue to place a high priority on highway maintenance. We have recently been awarded an additional £5.176m from Government for highway repairs and we are releasing £5 million from our advance savings to match this.
"This significant additional funding means we can undertake some preventative work as well and tackle more of the rural network. This funding will not be sufficient to repair all of our roads; we have approximately 6,000 miles of road, one of the largest networks in the country and we estimate we would need about £330m for the whole job; but we are realistic and this funding will make a difference as we carry on with our future programme of works.”
In the City of York, a total of £200,000 has been invested in better road surfaces for the Tour, all from the council's capital contingency fund.
York's response to the Freedom of Information request also shows that none of the works in York have been brought forward in time for the race.
The response added: "There is a resurfacing scheme on one of the streets (Goodramgate) that the TDF will travel, however this scheme was part of the overall resurfacing programme and would have been undertaken even if the TDF was not being held in York."
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