With a month to go before the Tour de France comes to the borough, Rochdale Borough Council have announced transport and travel details ahead of the world famous race this summer.
On Sunday 6 July around a kilometre of the route passes into the borough – along a section of B6138 and the A58 adjacent to Blackstone Edge Reservoir, during Stage 2 from York to Sheffield. The route includes a sharp bend which will slow the tour down and maximise viewing opportunities. Thousands of spectators are expected and it will take more than two hours for the racing cyclists, support teams and media to pass through.
Anyone intending to watch the race is being advised to arrive early, and be in position by 10.30am.
Although the route is set in breathtaking countryside, the area is surrounded by open moorland, so racegoers are recommended to wear appropriate clothing.
Council Leader Richard Farnell said:
“The Tour de France is one of the most exciting sports events in the UK this year and it is fantastic that we are part of it. We are encouraging people to get all the information they’ll need from www.rochdale.gov.uk and make the most of this unique event. I hope the Tour de France will encourage more people to get on their bikes and get active.”
Although only a kilometre of the race is in the borough, the stretch is recognised as one of the most fascinating sections of the route - the culmination of the longest continuous hill climb in England, up from Cragg Vale.
Mark Widdup, Director of Economy and Environment, says everyone intending to watch the race should plan ahead, arrive early, and keep journey distances to a minimum:
"The Tour de France is the world's biggest annual free sports event and it’s on our doorstep! We hope that as many people as possible really enjoy it … and whilst there will be some disruption, having such a prestigious race visiting is very exciting. We have been working hard to plan for this great event and now we are asking everyone who is attending to start their planning too. We will keep the borough moving but roads across the region will obviously be busy, so think ahead and preferably take public transport. We are strongly advising that you only travel locally on the day - cycle or walk if you can, but most of all enjoy the events and attractions here in Littleborough.”
“Working closely with Calderdale Council we will of course reopen roads as quickly as possible once the Tour de France has passed through and it is safe to do so.”
Although associated mainly with France, it’s normal for the Tour de France to dip into neighbouring countries. In fact, last year was unusual in that it stayed completely in France! The last time the Tour came to Britain was in 2007 when there was a prologue in London, followed by Stage 1 down to Canterbury.
Walking and cycling routes from Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough Rail Station and along the Rochdale Canal will be signposted.
There will be additional buses from Rochdale Transport Interchange to Littleborough from 7am on 6 July. Visit http://www.traveline-northwest.co.uk/journeyplanner/enterJourneyPlan.do for the timetable.
Free shuttle buses will be operating from Littleborough train station, taking passengers to the White House pub. From there it is a short 10 minute walk to the route the Tour de France will take.
Metrolink will be adding extra carriages to its Rochdale services from 7am, with passengers advised to travel to Rochdale Town Centre (Transport Interchange) and then take a direct bus to Littleborough. For those who want a longer walk, you can depart at Milnrow, Newhey or Kingsway. Visit www.tfgm.com for the timetable.
Northern Rail will be adding extra capacity to trains in the area, there will be a more frequent service running from Manchester to Littleborough via Rochdale, and free shuttle buses from Littleborough train station to the White House pub, a short 10 minute walk from the race. Visit www.tfgm.com for the timetable.
Car parking in Littleborough will be extremely limited, so drivers are advised to park in Rochdale town centre car parks and take the bus to Littleborough.
Hollingworth Lake car park (590 spaces) will be open. All council owned car parks and on street metered parking in Rochdale town centre are free of charge every Saturday and Sunday. For locations visit www.rochdale.gov.uk/parking
Parking will be prohibited in locations where it is considered dangerous and likely to cause obstruction. These locations will be coned out and it will be an offence to park there. Temporary waiting restrictions will be in place up to 48 hours in advance of the race on certain roads.
Park and cycle
You can also park on Kingsway Business Park and cycle to the race along the scenic canal towpath. The distance from Kingsway is approximately 5 miles.
Free parking permits available
The closed section of Halifax Road between Blackstone Edge Old Road and the White House pub will be made available for parking but by permit holders only, with priority given to Blue Badge holders. You can apply for one of the permits free of charge on a first come first served basis by emailing your name, address and badge number (where applicable) to firstname.lastname@example.org and placing ‘Tour Parking Permit’ in the subject box. These permits will have strict conditions applied to them as we need to secure emergency access to the event at all times and be in a position to safely reopen the A58 as soon as possible after the event.
Temporary public toilets will be signposted and be situated close by the race location, and on the Co-op Foodstore Car Park next to Littleborough Railway Station, and at the Rake, Moorcock and White House Public Houses.
Food and drink
Racegoers are able to bring their own food and drink, although it will also be available for sale. Food and drink will be available from local businesses in Littleborough town centre and also the public houses on the route up to the race site. Alternatively why not being a picnic!
From midnight on 3 July stopping will not be permitted on the A58 Halifax Road from its easterly junction with Blackstone Edge Old Road to the borough boundary including Turvin Road. Both sections of road will be closed completely from 6:30 am on the race day.
The A58 Halifax Road up to Turvin Road will be closed completely from its junction with Blackstone Edge Old Road from 6:30am on Sunday 6 July. The remainder of Halifax Road and the B6225 Hollingworth Road will close mid-morning. All other roads in Rochdale will remain open to traffic, however they will likely become more congested the closer you travel to the race time.
At 6:30 am on Sunday 6 July Turvin Road( B6138) and the A58 Halifax Road from its junction with Blackstone Edge Old Road will be closed to all traffic. Travel between Rochdale and Ripponden / Halifax via the White House will not be available, nor will you be able to travel through Hebden Bridge as this also forms part of the race route.
There will be no entry at the westerly junction of Blackstone Edge Old Road (The Rake) from 6:30am on the race day creating a circulatory route clockwise via Halifax Road and into Blackstone Edge Old Road to exit back onto Halifax Road at The Rake.
In Calderdale the A646 between Todmorden and Hebden Bridge will be closed early morning on 6 July.
The A6033 Todmorden Road will remain open to Todmorden at all times.
All other roads in the Lancashire area such as the A646 Todmorden to Burnley road will remain open.
Parking restrictions will be introduced along Halifax Road, Blackstone Edge Old Road, Canal Street and Hollingworth Road from midnight on 5 July. These will be introduced at locations where it is considered dangerous to park or likely to cause congestion.
Once all available on street parking is taken and to prevent congestion, the remainder of Halifax Road, Hollingworth Road and Church Street under the railway viaduct will be closed. This closure is likely to commence from 8am.
It is essential that access is maintained along the A58 from Rochdale town centre to the race location for emergency services. Any vehicle that obstructs the passage of others will be removed.
Residents and local businesses will still be able to access closed roads and the council will be contacting those affected in writing to advise them.
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