Leeds – Excitement is building ahead of the inaugural Tour de Yorkshire this bank holiday weekend, with the big race finale taking place on Princes Avenue, Roundhay Park on Sunday 3 May.
A fantastic family day out is on the cards at the official spectator hub on Soldiers Field with giant screens showing live TV coverage of the race between 3pm to 5pm. Organised by Leeds City Council, the spectator hub will be open to the public between 12 noon and 6pm, featuring a large family picnic area surrounded by a range of catering and refreshment concessions and sponsor activity areas.
Children and young people will be kept entertained with a selection of children’s funfair rides together with numerous inflatables and activity areas provided by the council’s Breeze team. These include a jungle gym, ball pool, bounce ‘n’ slide and volcano climb. Other entertainment provided as part of the Yorkshire Festival is also being planned for the day (www.tdyfestival.yorkshire.com).
The newly refurbished Tropical World at Roundhay Park, Leeds’ most popular paid for family attraction, will also be open throughout the day. Visitors will be able to check out tropical animals including butterflies, birds, reptiles and meerkats; a fantastic new aquarium; and rainforest themed mosaics.
People planning to use the spectator hub at Roundhay Park are encouraged to plan ahead and set off early as journey times and traffic routes will be affected. To help alleviate traffic congestion, anyone wishing to use the official event car parks are requested to follow the directional signage provided and arrive no later than 3pm to avoid any disappointment and, wherever possible, to car share or find alternative ways to get there. A number of temporary cycle racks will also be provided within the spectator hub for those wishing to ride to the event.
Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“Last year’s Tour de France Grand Départ was the highlight of the year for Leeds, and showed just how much can be achieved when we all come together as a city. This year’s Tour de Yorkshire will be another great and exciting sporting event, helping to put our region firmly on the national and international map. I’d encourage residents and businesses along the route in Leeds to give a warm Yorkshire welcome to riders and spectators alike.
“Leeds is rapidly becoming a cycling city and I’m sure that even more residents will be out on their bikes to watch the race on what promises to be a terrific bank holiday weekend!”
Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:
“There’s an incredible array of international riders competing in the Tour de Yorkshire and I’m sure residents from across the city will want to get the best possible spot to watch the race from.
“With up to 30,000 spectators expected for the finish at Roundhay Park, I would urge anyone wanting to soak up the atmosphere and excitement of the race finale to plan ahead and get there in good time. Let’s hope the sun shines on Leeds and Yorkshire on what promises to be a fantastic event and family day out.”
Regular bus services running between Leeds City Centre and Roundhay will operate to normal schedules on Sunday, although due to traffic restrictions around the event, some alternative bus stops at Roundhay will be used. The 12, 13 and 13A services will run from Leeds (New Market Street and New Briggate) to Gledhow Lane at Roundhay with the return stop starting from Roundhay Road. The 2, 3 and 3A services will run between Leeds (New Market Street and New Briggate) and Lidgett Lane. Live travel information will be available on the day on the Metro website www.wymetro.com and via updates on Twitter by searching #TdYTravel.
Blue badge parking will be provided for disabled spectators within the main event car parks, which will be located in close proximity to the designated accessible viewing areas along the finishing straight. The accessible viewing areas will provide ground level viewing for disabled customers and their companions, together with disabled toilet provision and access to a portable high dependency unit / changing places toilet facility. Access stewards will also be available to provide information and help with any queries on the day. Further access information can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/tdy
Organised by Welcome to Yorkshire and Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), Sunday is the third and final stage of the Tour de Yorkshire. Starting in Wakefield at 12.15pm, the impressive field of international riders from 18 participating teams is expected to cross the boundary into Leeds at Menston at approximately 3.45pm, and arrive at the finish line on Princes Avenue between 4.30 and 5pm.
Unlike the Tour de France, the race will operate under Police escort on a rolling road closure basis to minimise disruption to traffic, with various on-street parking suspensions in place along the route.
Spectators will be able to watch the race pass from the roadside all along the route. However, as roads will be in operation as normal immediately before and after the race passes, people are asked to stay off the highway at all times to allow the riders safe passage. To help safely facilitate the race for both riders and spectators during key stages of the race, some longer-term road closures will be put in place including East Chevin Road (King of the Mountains stage) and Black Hill Road / Arthington Road (Sprint stage). More information about road closures can be found on the council website www.leeds.gov.uk/tdy
Full details of the route through Leeds, race timings and further spectator guidance and information can be can be found at the official event website at www.letouryorkshire.com
A mass participation ride for around 5,000 amateur riders will also start and finish at the park on Sunday. The Maserati Tour de Yorkshire Ride is a unique opportunity for sportive riders to pave the way for the pro riders later in the day. For more information please visit www.letour.yorkshire.com/sportive