Schools could close on Friday before Tour de France weekend

Craven Herald: Schools could close on Friday before Tour de France weekend Schools could close on Friday before Tour de France weekend

SOME schools could close on the Friday before Tour de France weekend.

For safety reasons, and to ensure children being able to get home, some schools on or near to the route, will be closed for the day, North Yorkshire County Council's Craven Area Committee heard.

"There is no blanket closure, but some schools because of an individual risk assessment have chosen to close to make sure children can get home," said James Malcolm, area manager.

He added a lot of businesses were bringing their staff in the night before to make sure they were able to get to work.

Mr Malcolm urged people to get the latest on road closures and times for the event, on July 5 and July 6, from the county council's website.

A traffic management plan was in place and in the week running up to the event, the council would be monitoring the situation on a daily basis by talking to parishes along the routes.

The council was also engaging with health and adult services to make sure all necessary plans were in place, said Mr Malcolm.

Meanwhile Chief Inspector Simon Lovell said police were telling people to look upon the event as a "snow day".

He added: "I would also tell people to make a four-day plan. Friday is going to be very difficult, Saturday and Sunday will be nigh on impossible and Monday will be getting everyone back to normal life," he said.

Ch Insp Lovell said he was "relatively relaxed" about policing the event and thought the vast majority of people coming into the area would be coming to enjoy the cycling. I think the issues will be around congestion," he said.

Graham Buckle, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service Craven manager, said both Skipton and Grassington fire stations would be permanently staffed - instead of "on call" staff during the event, and in addition, a fire appliance would be sited at Skipton Police Station.

He added: "Rest assured, if we need to go on the route, we will do, we will not be waiting for the cyclists to go past."

Mr Malcolm said resurfacing of the cycle route had taken place and following an assessment by TdF hub organisers, officers had carried out further work on identified defects.

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