Tour de France: More car parks needed for Knaresborough

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More temporary car parks are needed to ensure Knaresborough can deliver a successful spectator hub for the Tour de France, it has emerged.

Planning laws have been relaxed in the district to allow land owners to take advantage of the mass influx of visitors by setting up car parks and camp sites. However not as many land owners have come forward with car park plans as was hoped.

Around 30,000 people are expected to visit Knaresborough for the weekend of the Grand Depart

Knaresborough will host the second official Tour de France Spectator Hub in the district and the race will pass through Knaresborough High Street on day two of the Grand Depart, July 6.

The full details of the expected road closures and the race’s impact on the district were revealed at a meeting for businesses in the district on Tuesday (April 1).

The A59 will close from 5am until around 3pm on Sunday July 6 and junction 47 of the A1M will also be closed from around 5am.

Nigel Avison, the council’s director of development services, said: “It will cause disruption. The perception that life can go on as normal is a bit fanciful.”

David Bowe, North Yorkshire County Council’s director of business and environmental services, said: “It is inevitable there is going to be significant impact on the roads. It is not going to be the traffic management itself that causes problems, it is going to be the traffic.

“If this is as popular as expected to be there will be queueing traffic around the area.

“The reality is, this will not be a normal weekend.”

Disgruntled Goldsborough resident, John Baxter who is organising a cycle village campsite in Goldsborough criticised the road closures and said isolated business were being left high and dry.

He said: “If they can’t get staff into work they can’t do any business, you are leaving them high and dry.

“It is alright for Harrogate town centre but people here are going to be locked in.”

For more information on setting up a temporary car park visit www.harrogate.gov.uk

Places are still availible at the food market planned for Knaresborough Market Place from July 4 to 6. A giant screen in the Castle grounds will beam live coverage of the race to the thousands gathered in the town.

To book a food stall email LetourKnaresborough@hotmail.co.uk or call 07728 415 887.