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Skipton will be "closed" if Tour de France crowds get too big
9:01am Thursday 29th May 2014 in News
SKIPTON, pinpointed as a "hotspot" for spectators along the route of the Tour de France's grand depart, will be cordoned off if the town gets too full.
Emergency measures to control the numbers will kick-in if it is deemed to have reached capacity - something in the region of 13,000 people - a roadshow in Skipton was told.
The meeting was called by Craven District Council, Welcome to Yorkshire and the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to give tips to businesses on how to take advantage of the third biggest sporting event in the world after the Olympics and the World Cup.
Sharon Hudson, who is coordinating the event for Craven, said in the wider area around the town centre, something in the region of 30,000 people were expected.
Barriers would be placed along Newmarket Street and up High Street to protect the public and riders.
People would be accommodated in "pens" for their safety along High Street and there would be four marshalled crossing points.
She said: "Skipton has been named as an official spectator hub. It is seen as a hotspot for crowd numbers.
"Our aim is to make sure that people have a safe and enjoyable experience and that traders get the most out of this fantastic opportunity."
She stressed that once people had selected where they wished to watch the race, they should remain there and not try to follow the riders.
When it had passed they could then watch the rest of the race on giant screens at two sites, in the Canal Basin and the town centre car park where there would be live screening.
Cycling pundit Carl Lawrenson would be keeping spectators informed on the race's progress. He has been race commentator for The Tour of Britain and Tour Series for the last five years, and was the announcer at the 2013 UCI World Track Championships, the UCI World Cup events, and the Men's and Women's Road Cycling races at the 2012 Olympic Games.
The council has prepared a map with details of public and temporary parking and has also highlighted the location of permanent and temporary campsites. North Yorkshire County Council's website also gives details of road closures.
Throughout the day, people will be working to remove rubbish and once the festivities were over, a giant clean up would be organised which would involve volunteer litter-pickers.
People are encouraged to visit both Craven Council and NYCC websites for details which will continue to be updated.