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Bus transport into city centre restricted, plus regional road closures of up to 24 hours

Disruptions to Cambridge’s transport system for the visit of the Tour de France have been announced this week, but have been dubbed a “nightmare” by one unhappy councillor.

This week Cambridge Council announced that no buses will be able to access the city centre on the July 7 race day, adding to the disruption that will be caused by the road closures that were announced in March.

Calling the planned inner-city transport disruption a “nightmare”, councillor Charlie Nightingale told Cambridge News: “I welcome the Tour, but I can’t understand why the roads need to be closed for this long period of time.”

The roads in the vicinity of the Parker’s Piece start line are set to be closed from from 5.30pm on July 6, the day before the race. Some roads will reopen at 3pm, once the race has left the city, but others are expected to stay shut until 6pm. This means some roads will be closed for up to 24 hours.

As well as extensive road closures, the council have announced that the city’s buses will also have no access to the city centre.

Buses coming from the south are set to terminate at the train station, while buses from the north will be halting their service at one of three locations: Caids Causeway, Mitcham’s Corner or Queen’s Road.

Businesses on the route will be affected too. Scotsdales Garden Centre in Great Shelford, four miles south of Cambridge, will be forced to close on the day of the race as staff won’t be able to get to work early enough. This is predicted to cost the business around £50,000.

Travel disruptions are not only set to affect commuters, businesses and tourists, but also schools and hospitals.

Some schools have preempted possible disruption by announcing plans to close on July 7, while Addenbrooke’s Hospital plans to step down its activity on the race day, focusing its efforts on emergency operations only and moving routine procedures to the weekend before.

The council’s transport director, Graham Hughes, emphasised that the road closures were necessary: “We completely understand that some residents and businesses may feel that the race will cause them problems. However, the road closures have to put in early to allow the Tour organisers to prepare the route.

"With such a large scale event, residents, businesses and visitors are being given advanced notification to help get ready, plan and enjoy a unique day in Cambridge’s history.”

While the council’s early warnings about the road closures may not be the most inspirational way of helping the city’s residents to enjoy the Tour de France’s visit, one member of Cambridge Council has called for flexible working on July 7 to help workers enjoy the day.

In November, Councillor Ian Manning wrote on his website: “This is a unique opportunity for the people of Cambridgeshire and it would be a real shame if they were to miss out on witnessing this historic event when flexible working could allow them to attend.

“I hope the county council and other businesses across Cambridgeshire will find ways to allow their staff to enjoy the event and be part of history in the making.”

Elliot joined team road.cc bright eyed, bushy tailed, and straight out of university.

Raised in front of cathode ray tube screens bearing the images of Miguel Indurain and Lance Armstrong, Elliot's always had cycling in his veins.
His balance was found on a Y-framed mountain bike around South London suburbs in the 90s, while his first taste of freedom came when he claimed his father's Giant hybrid as his own at age 16.

When Elliot's not writing for road.cc two wheels are still his favoured mode of transport; these days over the undulating streets of Madrid.

48 comments

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SteppenHerring [328 posts] 2 years ago
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It does seem an excessively long road closure but they're probably worried about people parking on the course - with good reason I suspect. Saw the ToB come through Dorking last year and the roads were closed for about 20 minutes. Seamless operation. Granted the ToB doesn't have quite the race caravan that the TdF does ...

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ely_peddler [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Largest annual sporting event in the world comes to your city and all you can do is moan, must be nice being you Charlie Nightingale.

Oh BTW it's Maid's Causeway - not Caid's Causeway  1

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P3t3 [258 posts] 2 years ago
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What is the fuss about...? Cambridge hosts the largest sporting event in the world, and moans about a few road closures...

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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This is all a bit depressing, what with that story about someone in Harrogate moaning as well.
Presumably these people think we shouldn't put on any sort of special events anywhere, ever, in case someone might get inconvenienced by them, eh? That would be much better all round wouldn't it?

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parksey [343 posts] 2 years ago
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Yep, you'd think people might actually want to go and watch the Tour pass through their city? It's not like it's obligatory to own a piece of clothing made of lycra to have an interest in cycling when it's on such a massive scale as this.

Heaven forbid people might not be able to use a garden centre for one day of the year...

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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But they might be having a sale on begonias!

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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parksey wrote:

Yep, you'd think people might actually want to go and watch the Tour pass through their city?

Probably lots do. And some won't want to. What's the problem there? Of course it will inconvenience people...they're absolutely within their rights to be pissed off.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp wrote:
parksey wrote:

Yep, you'd think people might actually want to go and watch the Tour pass through their city?

Probably lots do. And some won't want to. What's the problem there? Of course it will inconvenience people...they're absolutely within their rights to be pissed off.

They can be pissed off if they want, but I don't think they have any right to be listened to. Whether I want to attend a particular event or not, I have no problem with public space being used for public events. It doesn't happen that often. It's good for the community.

He isn't a Cambridge councillor, by the way. He's a parish councillor for Little Shelford, a village to the south of Cambridge which the TdF will go through.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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HKCambridge wrote:

He isn't a Cambridge councillor, by the way. He's a parish councillor for Little Shelford, a village to the south of Cambridge which the TdF will go through.

By 'he' (could be she?) I mean Nightingale. Manning is a county councillor in Cambridge.

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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£50000 for a garden centre on a Monday .... sounds a bit high but I'm no expert. They do know they're not being robbed and don't have to get the story straight for the insurance company don't they.

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mrmo [2074 posts] 2 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

£50000 for a garden centre on a Monday .... sounds a bit high but I'm no expert. They do know they're not being robbed and don't have to get the story straight for the insurance company don't they.

Did strike me as odd, my limited experience of garden centres is that business is done at the weekend, unless this is a huge destination store with concessions, which is possible, i find it unbelievably high.

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netclectic [134 posts] 2 years ago
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They can moan all they like, f**k em!

We had the same misery guts here in Glasgow last year when we hosted the national champ road race. Most of the city was closed to traffic for the whole weekend and it was great. I'm sure they'll make themselves heard again as the commonwealth games draws ever closer.

Does anybody really care about the opinions of these narrow minded tossers? They wont know what's hit them when the TdF caravan rolls through town!!!

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fennesz [138 posts] 2 years ago
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Scotsdales is a huge, expensive garden centre, so £50k might be right.

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mattsccm [330 posts] 2 years ago
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The contributors here have done well today.
As narrow a minded bunch as I have ever seen.
I'll be watching 2 days in Yorkshire but many people won't and it will screw things for a lots of people. Its totally wrong to slag off those who object. It is wrong to say that the locality benefits. Some of it will, indeed some of it will have a windfall but some will suffer. They have every right to complain, indeed they should be compensated as should anyone else who looses out through some one else's recreation.
It amazes me that many here only see one point of view.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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"This is predicted to cost the business around £50,000"

Only if you do voodoo maths.

My suspicion is that this figure is the gross revenue for one day's trading. It's not the net profit on a day's trading. And there is also a question as to whether the trading has been lost or merely displaced ie I was going to buy a lawnmower on Monday 7th July but the shop is closed because of the TdF so I'll pop down on Tuesday 8th and buy it instead.

There may be a certain amount of loss from this which would be a subtle calculation of the net profit from the actual lost sales rather than the time shited sales adjusted by the reduced operating costs from one days's trading.

And that's not taking into account the marketing opportunity provided by having so many TdF spectators view whatever offers you put in front of them in your Yellow Jersey sale.

Voodoo maths is the type that calculates if you make supermarkets close on a Sunday then weekly food sales will go down 14.28% rather than resulting in slightly higher than previous trading figures for Friday, Saturday and Monday.

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notfastenough [3679 posts] 2 years ago
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Not really impressed with some of the comments here, not everybody is interested in this (or indeed any) sport. I think a 24 hour closure is pretty excessive. I'm guessing that's how long they think they'll need (worst case) to tow away all the cars parked on the route.

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HKCambridge [222 posts] 2 years ago
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mattsccm wrote:

The contributors here have done well today.
As narrow a minded bunch as I have ever seen.
I'll be watching 2 days in Yorkshire but many people won't and it will screw things for a lots of people. Its totally wrong to slag off those who object. It is wrong to say that the locality benefits. Some of it will, indeed some of it will have a windfall but some will suffer. They have every right to complain, indeed they should be compensated as should anyone else who looses out through some one else's recreation.
It amazes me that many here only see one point of view.

But saying that tens of thousands of people (not to mention millions globally watching tv) shouldn't enjoy an event because of disruption to you, for one day, is completely open-minded?

Sorry, no. The world would be a poorer place for not holding events like this. Disruption is to be expected. It's not like they haven't had years of warning.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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mattsccm wrote:

The contributors here have done well today.
As narrow a minded bunch as I have ever seen.
I'll be watching 2 days in Yorkshire but many people won't and it will screw things for a lots of people. Its totally wrong to slag off those who object. It is wrong to say that the locality benefits. Some of it will, indeed some of it will have a windfall but some will suffer. They have every right to complain, indeed they should be compensated as should anyone else who looses out through some one else's recreation.
It amazes me that many here only see one point of view.

So does that mean that businesses which benefit should have to pay a levy or is it just private losses that are socialized but private windfalls remain in private hands.

Decisions are made all the time that affect potential income for businesses. Parking restrictions, parking charges, loading restrictions, new bus routes, roadworks, town bypasses, planning permission, out of town retail parks. All these decisions are permanent. They are not compensated for.

There is also a good deal of doubt in this case whether sales are permanently lost or merely displaced.

And that's without getting into the fact that a business in a town benefits enormously from being in that town from the town's infrastructure and from the destination that other businesses collectively provide and which they all benefit from. It is rather hubristic for a business to bemoan that a town or city which provides it with a thriving living the entire year takes a day off off from filling its coffers.

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racyrich [253 posts] 2 years ago
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Businesses that benefit do pay a levy. Corporation tax at 20% on any profit. OK, goes to central government, not local, but since local government is 70% centrally funded it makes little difference.

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AWPeleton [3310 posts] 2 years ago
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Dont blame the tour, blame the govt they wanted a stage to end in London so its tough, you just have to live with it.

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Flying Scot [918 posts] 2 years ago
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Bollocks, I was going down to the stage by bus and hoping to stock up on bedding plants at the same time!

That's my plans ruined

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Yorkshie Whippet [530 posts] 2 years ago
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Fine let them moan at le Tour,

I'd like to complain about how Leeds is
Full of gormless people wandering around slowly holding me up.
Gummed up every other week when some people kick a bit of leather around.
Gummed up when 100s of thousand of drug addled music hippies cover the whole place in mud as they leave a trail of devestation after a so called music festival every bloody Aug bank holiday.
The fact the roads in Leeds are regulary closed for so called fun runs, what's the fun in running, bah humbug.
Oh and not forgetting the distruption cause by the bloody torch the other year. I mean to close the road so that someone can carry a fag lighter, come one!

And don't get me started on the distruption to my cycling caused by the various pony club meetings, country fairs and the Great Yorkshire Show at Harrogate, mud, mud and animal dung all over the place. Might as well take up mountain biking again. I stopped that because the forest always seemed to have some nutters driving cars as fast as they could into trees.

I'd also like to complain about the distruption caused by buses always stopping in front of me and refuse trucks. Someone really should do something about all the red lights that disrupt my journeys and get rid of other road users. Closed roads for me to cycle on is the way to go. No-one in sight, peace and quiet.

Hve I missed anyone out? Live and let live I say!  21

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Joelsim [1975 posts] 2 years ago
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I suspect he reads The Daily Mail and votes UKIP.

Miserable f*cker.

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Chuck [546 posts] 2 years ago
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There'll be somebody unhappy about any large event wherever it's staged. I accept they have a right to be unhappy, but I'd like to think that as a society we like to have the odd big event, and that will always mean that someone somewhere is going to have to suck it up.

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Maybe they could hold a flower show on some cycle paths the week after, in the interests of balance........

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northstar [1108 posts] 2 years ago
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I wondered when the hot air moaning would start... less than 24 hours?

Don't worry, the 364 and a bit days will still be available motorists to terrorise the public highways.

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Jimbonic [136 posts] 2 years ago
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Can't imagine what a business with a large car park and access to loads of (garden) furniture might do when a sporting event passes by........

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Chuck wrote:

There'll be somebody unhappy about any large event wherever it's staged. I accept they have a right to be unhappy, but I'd like to think that as a society we like to have the odd big event, and that will always mean that someone somewhere is going to have to suck it up.

http://road.cc/content/news/114656-sheffield-cyclists-protest-cycle-lane...

 24

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Malaconotus [96 posts] 2 years ago
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Scotsdales turns over £14M a year... http://www.hortweek.com/Retail/article/1158292/retail-outlet-3m-turnover... My similarly seasonal and weekend-biased shop turns over roughly a tenth of that (selling bikes) and we reckon shutting on a Monday in summer for stock take costs us about £1K of revenue which won't just come a different day. So £10K would be a much more reasonable maximum estimate of revenue lost for this outlet. Some labour cost will be saved but many fixed costs still incurred so the effect on the bottom line will be perhaps a couple of grand, very roughly.

Of course, a venue that popular, with a cafe, extensive parking, community rooms etc. just might be able to think of some ways to capitalise on the vastly increased numbers of people in the area?

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allez neg [497 posts] 2 years ago
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Malaconotus wrote:

Scotsdales turns over £14M a year... http://www.hortweek.com/Retail/article/1158292/retail-outlet-3m-turnover... My similarly seasonal and weekend-biased shop turns over roughly a tenth of that (selling bikes) and we reckon shutting on a Monday in summer for stock take costs us about £1K of revenue which won't just come a different day. So £10K would be a much more reasonable maximum estimate of revenue lost for this outlet. Some labour cost will be saved but many fixed costs still incurred so the effect on the bottom line will be perhaps a couple of grand, very roughly.

Of course, a venue that popular, with a cafe, extensive parking, community rooms etc. just might be able to think of some ways to capitalise on the vastly increased numbers of people in the area?

As an aside - if a stocktake costs you a grand, can't you do it at another time? Or offer a couple of employees (if you have them) a hundred notes each to do a night shift and save £800. I've worked for a couple of specialist retailers (cycle and motorcycle) and neither boss would have willingly waved goodbye to a thousand quid

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