The Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford will host a Fête du Tour this weekend as London gears up for the visit of the Tour de France on Monday 7 July. As a further part of the capital's preparations Transport for London (TfL) has announced details of road closures in the capital for the Tour's visit.
The Fête du Tour takes place this Saturday 31 May at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from 9.45am to 6.00pm and according to the park “will include led rides, cycle security marking from the Metropolitan Police Service, the opportunity to try a range of bikes, Mountain bike displays, French food stalls, cycle training taster sessions and the sale of official Tour de France merchandise.”
Events to celebrate the impending arrival of the Tour will also be taking place this weekend in Yorkshire, Cambridgeshire and Essex.
TfL says that it has embarked on communicating travel advice related to Stage 3 of the Tour to local residents and businesses, similar to the exercise it undertook ahead of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
That will include leaflets being delivered as well as boroughs hosting public information sessions to help people find out about the race.
Maps showing routes affected inside the M25 have been published on a dedicated part of the TfL website, which also provides advice to help people plan around the race.
On the day itself, roads affected will close from 10am onwards, after morning rush hour, and TfL says that they will be reopened “as quickly as possible once the Tour has passed through and it is safe to do so.”
It adds that Tower Bridge, Southwark Bridge and Westminster Bridge will be closed for most of the day, but no other river crossings will be shut. There will be crossing points along the route of the race itself for pedestrians.
TfL says that tube and rail will be the best way to get around the city on the day, but it expects stations close to the finish on The Mall – which would include Green Park, Charing Cross, Westminster and Piccadilly Circus – to be particularly busy.
Garrett Emmerson, TfL’s chief operating officer of surface transport at TfL, said: “We've been working long and hard to plan for this great event's return to the capital and now we are asking Londoners to start their planning too.
"We will keep the capital moving, and roads around the race route will, of course, be extremely busy. So we’re asking people to plan ahead and preferably use public transport to make the most of what I'm sure will be an amazing day that will help cement London's growing reputation as a major cycling city and encourage more Londoners to travel by bike.”
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.