YEP Says, June 19: On the right track to building a Tour legacy for the city

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Dedicated cycleways can encourage more people to take up cycling.

CAPTURING the Tour de France was a huge coup for Leeds and Yorkshire as a whole – but it’s only half the battle.

Of course, it will do the city and region no end of good to be showcased in such a way.

Visitors from around the globe will soon start flocking here to soak up the excitement of the first two stages of one of the planet’s greatest races.

Meanwhile, millions around the world will be watching on television – and a fair few may like what they see enough to come and pay us a visit in person.

You can’t buy that sort of publicity and exposure.

Yet, if we are to fully reap the benefits of staging the Grand Depart, it’s essential that five, 10 and even 20 years down the line there is a tangible reminder that the Tour came here.

In terms of building that legacy, Leeds is being bold.

Hot on the heels of the unveiling of a dedicated, city-wide cycle network, the council is looking to bid for further cycle ‘superhighways’ and plans to create two closed circuit cycle tracks as part of the regional Cycle Yorkshire legacy plan.

If more people are going to take up cycling it’s vital that it is seen as a safe and convenient mode of transport – and cycleways, along with a raft of other initiatives in the pipeline, will help to achieve just that.

At this rate, the Tour de France will go on delivering benefits for Leeds long into the future.

Can Hockaday work magic at Elland Road?

DAVE Hockaday would not have been the first name on Leeds United fans’ lips when it came to the identity of the man to lead the club to the promised land.

The fact his last job was as boss of lowly Forest Green will only increase the furrowed brows if, as expected, he’s unveiled as Leeds’s new manager today.

But if United are to build a team to get back into the Premier League, financial pressures mean they must nurture young talent. It’s here – in spells at Watford and Southampton – that Hockaday’s CV is so impressive.

And, if he can somehow unearth players of the calibre of England star Adam Lallana at Elland Road, his appointment will come to be seen as a masterstroke.

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