CAMPSITE bookings a week before the Tour de France this weekend were slightly lower than expected.

Acting superintendent Simon Lovell told Craven councillors although bookings were slightly down, there were a number of factors to take into account.

He said weather could make a difference and large numbers could also cycle into the area.

"Crowd modelling based on bookings in farmers fields are a little down on what we projected three months ago," he told the council's crime and disorder committee.

But a lot of people would cycle to the event, and think nothing of cycling 100 miles, he said.

Acting Supt Lovell, who reassured councillors that the district was fully prepared for the tour, added an area of concern was the potential bottleneck in Skipton - where up to 13,000 could converge.

"There will be a finite number of people able to pack in and we shall be keeping a close eye on it. We want the whole experience to be a carnival weekend," he said.

He added it was likely that people camping at Bolton Abbey would move to Beamsley Hill, where cyclists would come down early on Sunday as part of stage two of the race, reaching speeds of up to 70mph.

He believed roads in Craven would start to get quieter later on Sunday and by Monday would be back to normal.

Much would be learnt from the event and used in the future.

"This will be a fantastic event and the legacy will be that we will see future events being held here, not as big as the Tour de France, but we will learn from it for the future," he said.