Grand Depart chiefs ready for Tour challenges

Nicky Roche, chief executive of TDFHUB2014 Ltd
Nicky Roche, chief executive of TDFHUB2014 Ltd
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UK Tour de France chiefs are confident their plans can cater to weather and spectator challenges, despite the fact over half of the contingency budget has been spent.

Nicky Roche, chief executive of the Government’s Tour organising body TDFHUB2014 Ltd, has stated it is “leaving no stone unturned” as the countdown to the July 5 and 6 Yorkshire Grand Depart continues.

She has been speaking to the YEP in the wake of the release of TDFHUB2014’s final ‘readiness’ report last week, which showed final plans are coming together while stating challenges such as the impact of possible bad weather and crowd management lay ahead.

It revealed around £1.26m of its £2m contingency fund had been spent on things including £100,000 on supporting crowd management, safety, security and traffic management at Holme Moss during the July 6 stage two.

Stating organisers have been working with the UK’s top crowd safety experts, Ms Roche said: “The absolute priority has been crowd safety. One of the things was Holme Moss and, having surveyed the public, lots more people now want to go to Holme Moss. We have been working with all the public sector agencies and released contingency because it’s important we keep people safe.”

She added: “My expectation is there will be a large chunk of contingency left for the race.”

Forecasting a huge economic boost to the region as millions of fans prepare to visit, the report also made clear that Le Tour remains in line with its £27m budget.

TDFHUB2014 has been working with local authorities, transport and emergency services to refine its plans for Le Tour, and further work will be done when special multi-agency control rooms are established from June 30. And with Yorkshire’s unpredictable weather considered a factor, water reserves for crowd hotspots and extra Yorkshire Water piping are considered.

Ms Roche said: “We have plans at a general level. With the Tour organisers, the Tour doesn’t really stop for anything.”

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