NOW FOR the encore. After Yorkshire staged the greatest Grand Départ in Tour de France history, it now falls to Utrecht to match the unforgettable scenes witnessed on the county’s highways and byways exactly 12 months ago.
Not only did Yorkshire’s two stages attract four million spectators – an unprecedented number for this event – but it also helped to motivate a new generation of riders, young and old alike, to use their bikes to explore the great outdoors.
Yet, while the number of cyclists has actually fallen across Britain, our county is actually bucking this national trend: an additional 5,000 people now ride their bikes at least once a week compared with 12 months ago when the Grand Départ was hitting top gear. It all helps to bring to life the aim of making Britain a healthier nation.
However, the road ahead will not be a smooth one. There are still concerns over safety, and motorists and cyclists need to be more respectful towards each other. As a by-product, it is paramount that planning applications submitted to local authorities are cycle-proofed before consent is given by councillors. If greater consideration is given to this at the outset of this process, whether it be safe cycling lanes or bicycle storage facilities at workplaces, the Tour’s legacy will be even more tangible.