A BUS firm is warning passengers of major changes to routes and timetables when the Tour De France comes to York and North Yorkshire next month.

Richard Jackson, development director of Transdev, says most of its routes will be diverted, and in a few cases temporarily suspended where no alternative route is available.

He urged people to plan ahead, choosing where they want to watch the race well in advance, to set off early because their journey will take much longer than usual and to be prepared to wait a considerable time to get away after the race.

The race will pass through parts of North Yorkshire on Saturday July 5 and then go through York on Sunday July 6.

"Our priority will be to carry as many regular users and spectators as possible to towns and villages en route so that everyone can enjoy the race and the surrounding festivities," he said.

"Roads along the route itself will be closed for a minimum of eight hours on the race day, with some roads being closed for the whole day around the start and finish of the Stages."

He stressed that only fold-away bikes could be carried on board Transdev's buses and they had to be stored within their carry case.

He said diversions included:

11- York Centre - Bishopthorpe, which will operate via the A1036 Tadcaster Road and Sim Balk Lane instead of Bishopthorpe Road, without serving Tower Street, Clifford Street, Bridge Street, and Rougier Street.

13 -York centre - Copmanthorpe. Inbound as normal route to Blossom Street then diverts to the railway station returning via Station Avenue gyratory. No service via Nunnery Lane, Clifford Street, Tower Street and Rougier Street.

16A - Acomb Shops – Elmfield AvenueAcomb – Railway Station returning via Station Avenue gyratory. Elmfield Avenue – Hungate (Using Peasholme Green bus stops)

44 University of York – Victoria Bar Inbound Via normal route to Novotel Hotel then divert via Paragon Street, Walmgate, St Denys Road and Piccadilly, terminating at Merchantgate. Return via Walmgate and Paragon Street picking up normal route at Fishergate.

The firm's Yorkshire Coastliner services, X40/840, 843 and 845, will also be affected by the race:

YCST - Service cancelled until the roads reopen.

X40 - Whitby - Leeds- Westbound, normal route to Heworth then Stonebow, Hungate Hub, Foss Islands Road, Lawrence Street, Hull Road A1079 to Grimston Bar then rejoin the A64. No service to the, Railway Station or Tadcaster Road. Diversions via Tang Hall and Melrosegate if traffic levels on the A1079 are heavy. Copmanthorpe diversion via Manor Heath, School Lane, Horseman Lane, Top Lane then Manor Heath. The bus stop on Top Lane will be suspended. Eastbound via reverse of above route

843 - Scarborough - Leeds- Route through York as per the X40 service.

X45 - Bridlington - Leeds - Route through York as per the X40 & 843 services.