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No camping signs, boulders placed to prevent parking

A councillor who helped plan the routes of the two Tour de France stages in Yorkshire has hit out at what he sees as a “heavy handed” approach by Kirklees Council to forbid camping on the climb of Holme Moss and place boulders by the roadside to stop people parking vehicles there.

The council has placed yellow ‘No camping’ signs around the top of the climb, which features on Stage 2 of the race from York to Sheffield, as well as putting boulders in place at the roadside, reports the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

But Martyn Bolt, a former mayor of Kirklees and a committee member of the Dave Rayner Fund which supports young cyclists looking to launch a professional career, says that the measures are “draconian.”

He told the newspaper: “I think Kirklees has been very heavy-handed over this. The signs send out completely the wrong message and anyone looking at where to go to watch the Tour may decide to go somewhere else instead.

“Kirklees have had workmen putting down these huge blocks of stone and I hope they have carried out a risk assessment. What they have done is create a potential hazard.

“If a cyclist had a mishap, such as a puncture, they could always veer onto the verge and have a relatively soft landing.

“Now they could hit a nine or 10-inch tall boulder, buckle a wheel and go head over heels over the handlebars. Then you also have to consider people walking and those with mobility problems.”

He added: “These are draconian preventative measures which penalise cyclists more than illegal campers.”

In a statement, a council spokesman said: “People are welcome to bring caravans and motorhomes to the event but we would ask that they follow the spectator guidelines and park only in designated car parks as they cannot be left at the roadside.

“This is to enable the safe running of the race, protect land owned by local people from damage and allow space for the large number of spectators who are expected to line the route at this iconic location.

“Verges between Holmfirth and Holmbridge are not generally wide enough to park a vehicle without obstructing the route and wider verges and the small number of lay-bys are to be used for essential race infrastructure.

“The council is currently in discussion with Yorkshire Water on the use of Holme Moss car park to host race essential infrastructure.

“Other areas on this part of the route are in the control of local landowners and their use and any charges will be at their own discretion.”

In its third and final report on preparations for the Tour published last week, the government-backed company Tour Hub 2014 Limited said it expected 60,000 spectators on the Holme Moss climb, and added that £100,000 had been taken from a contingency fund to ensure their safety.

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.

47 comments

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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That's what happens when you have bloated public sector with a screwed up sense of priorities. They invent things to do and then moan that they don't have enough money for essentials. If they have spare lorries and spare council workmen with time on their hands and money enough to procure lots of large boulders, then why don't they fix the bloody potholes?

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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Quick! People are trying to have fun! STOP THEM

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leqin [171 posts] 2 years ago
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tell me - is there any organisation in Yorkshire who wants the Tour De France to visit the county and for the riders taking part to have a great race and for the people watching it to enjoy themselves, only all we seem to have heard for months is about one spoil sport politically correct tosser after another doing everything they can do to make it a complete waste of effort by those who worked so hard bringing the race to Yorkshire.

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sanderville [340 posts] 2 years ago
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Amateur cyclist breaks pelvis on safety boulder in 3...2...1...

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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Ive got the feeling this is going to be the first in a catalogue of over officious hi-viz tabard wearing 'officials' with no understanding for the sport of bike racing not 'getting it' and pissing off cycling fans.
I have visions of jobsworths stopping cyclists riding their bikes along closed roads before the race arrives.

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hitchings [7 posts] 2 years ago
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To be fair there isn't a huge amount of space on the verges of holme moss to be parking camper vans/caravans. But boulders is a little OTT. Just stop people from taking cars up there full stop. Easy. Expecting 60,000 spectators but we are going to use up much of that space with boulders. Good one.

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JeevesBath [172 posts] 2 years ago
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No 'Dutch corner' in Yorkshire.

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antigee [336 posts] 2 years ago
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“Verges between Holmfirth and Holmbridge are not generally wide enough to park a vehicle without obstructing the route and wider verges and the small number of lay-bys are to be used for essential race infrastructure."

an accurate description of what the local authority has to deal with and a reasonable enough response to ensure an event watched by the world runs smoothly - not reasonable to criticise a bit of foresight and planning , pretty sure those that criticise councils for over reaction in dealing with an unknown number of spectators would be the same people up in arms if councils had failed to prepare adequately

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leguape [43 posts] 2 years ago
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leqin wrote:

tell me - is there any organisation in Yorkshire who wants the Tour De France to visit the county and for the riders taking part to have a great race and for the people watching it to enjoy themselves, only all we seem to have heard for months is about one spoil sport politically correct tosser after another doing everything they can do to make it a complete waste of effort by those who worked so hard bringing the race to Yorkshire.

When you say "worked so hard" do you mean Welcome to Yorkshire who bade without funding, grossly underestimated the cost and then turned to DCMS and local councils to pay in excess of £20m for something they touted as costing about quarter to half of that at best? So inadequate was the planning that the DCMS insisted on parachuting in an entire new company of experienced major event management to keep things on track and manage elements like this.

It's the councils and authorities having to deal with all the logistics of the event and the clean up afterwards when Welcome to Yorkshire are claiming all the glory of what will be - regardless of actual numbers - sold as a massive triumph. Local authorities on the route have every reason to be aggrieved and opposed given how much they've had to stump up resource-wise to make this happen and how little of the reflected glory they'll be getting.

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marcopanatone [8 posts] 2 years ago
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> I have visions of jobsworths stopping cyclists riding their bikes along closed roads before the race arrives.

Wouldn't be surprised.  2

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leguape [43 posts] 2 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

Ive got the feeling this is going to be the first in a catalogue of over officious hi-viz tabard wearing 'officials' with no understanding for the sport of bike racing not 'getting it' and pissing off cycling fans.
I have visions of jobsworths stopping cyclists riding their bikes along closed roads before the race arrives.

Jobsworths like the French police and gendarmes do every year in France? I watches them doing exactly what you describe as "jobsworth" to riders trying to get up Col de Pailheres last year.

You ever had any dealing with ASO, or local bodies in France? Because let me tell you, they make what you call jobsworth seem like light touch regulation.

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Ed Greenough [14 posts] 2 years ago
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Half a dozen local cyclists with a spud bar could fix this...

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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oozaveared wrote:

That's what happens when you have bloated public sector with a screwed up sense of priorities. They invent things to do and then moan that they don't have enough money for essentials. If they have spare lorries and spare council workmen with time on their hands and money enough to procure lots of large boulders, then why don't they fix the bloody potholes?

I see on another thread that you live in the New Forest. I live in Kirklees and know the road in question. I also vaguely know Martyn Bolt, who has done loads of good work for cycling in the area.

In my opinion Martyn is wrong on this one. There is no way that camper vans should be allowed up Holme Moss as the verges aren't big enough. There is a massive drainage channel on one side of the road and the other side is a soft verge leading to a drop. The only way a camper van could park up would involve encroaching on the course itself.

Placing stones to try to prevent selfish people ruining the race for others seems a good use of public money for me. And since I am actually a Kirklees council tax payer it is me who is paying!

Also, a lot of money has been spent on resurfacing the local roads, as well as the actual route of the tour. There will always be some potholes as the area is very hilly, populous and suffers harsh winters. I would be very happy if they resurfaced the road through my village, for example!

As regards the 'bloated' public sector, Kirkless had 11,000 workers in 2010. It had laid off 1,100 of them by 2013 and announced plans for another 1,400 redundancies last October. So rather than 'bloated' I think it is more accurate to describe their resources as threadbare.

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mattpage [5 posts] 2 years ago
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Makes you wonder how on earth they cope in France.

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usedtobefaster [172 posts] 2 years ago
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Wouldn't it have been simpler (and less costly) to have closed the road earlier than the current plan and have the police clear the climb of anything that doesn't have permission to be there?

I'm beginning to think deciding not to go to Yorkshire is a good idea.

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andyp [1448 posts] 2 years ago
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'And since I am actually a Kirklees council tax payer it is me who is paying!'

Just you?

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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antigee wrote:

an accurate description of what the local authority has to deal with and a reasonable enough response to ensure an event watched by the world runs smoothly - not reasonable to criticise a bit of foresight and planning , pretty sure those that criticise councils for over reaction in dealing with an unknown number of spectators would be the same people up in arms if councils had failed to prepare adequately

There's nothing preparing adequately about it. Just put up a sign saying you can't park here between these dates and if you do your vehicle will be removed and you'll pay a big fine and fee to get it back. Like Surrey does when the big bike races come through. The threat is enough. It's self financing because you just get the police to issue the order and then have it towed privately if necessary. The fee covers the towing and storage. The threat will be enough. But then that's common sense and that's not going to keep too many jobsworths in their jobs for very long is it?

Have you ever seen the Tour de France by the way? Could be worth a watch for you to see how the rest of the stages operate. I expect it will be a bit of an eye opener to realise that you don't need to put boulders either side of the road to make it work. Fans are part of it. It's a carnival not a funeral.

Yorkshire has some lovely countryside but by god it's got more than it's share of miserable joyless gits that can take the fun out of almost anything.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
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Chris James wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

That's what happens when you have bloated public sector with a screwed up sense of priorities. They invent things to do and then moan that they don't have enough money for essentials. If they have spare lorries and spare council workmen with time on their hands and money enough to procure lots of large boulders, then why don't they fix the bloody potholes?

I see on another thread that you live in the New Forest. I live in Kirklees and know the road in question. I also vaguely know Martyn Bolt, who has done loads of good work for cycling in the area.

In my opinion Martyn is wrong on this one. There is no way that camper vans should be allowed up Holme Moss as the verges aren't big enough. There is a massive drainage channel on one side of the road and the other side is a soft verge leading to a drop. The only way a camper van could park up would involve encroaching on the course itself.

Placing stones to try to prevent selfish people ruining the race for others seems a good use of public money for me. And since I am actually a Kirklees council tax payer it is me who is paying!

Also, a lot of money has been spent on resurfacing the local roads, as well as the actual route of the tour. There will always be some potholes as the area is very hilly, populous and suffers harsh winters. I would be very happy if they resurfaced the road through my village, for example!

As regards the 'bloated' public sector, Kirkless had 11,000 workers in 2010. It had laid off 1,100 of them by 2013 and announced plans for another 1,400 redundancies last October. So rather than 'bloated' I think it is more accurate to describe their resources as threadbare.

No I live in Surrey but I am from the New Forest. We have had big bike races in Surrey three or four years on the trot. Pre Olympic test, Olympics, Ride London 100 and TofB. No boulders necessary on any of it. Just signs saying that the road will be closed and not to park or you'll be towed. As far as I know no towing was actually necessary.

And the council must be bloated because they have time enough and people enough and money to engage in this sort of nonsense. But then I guess they've fixed all the potholes and painted all the fences and cut back the bushes in the sight lines at junctions and there's just nothing else that needs doing except the moving of boulders.

Sounds very like 1,100 is not enough and the attitude of the council workers is
"quick....everybody look like they're doing something..what, boulders? Great idea...that'll keep the boys busy for a while. anyone else oh yeah that bunting could be a menace if it gets wet..."

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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oozaveared wrote:

No I live in Surrey but I am from the New Forest. We have had big bike races in Surrey three or four years on the trot. Pre Olympic test, Olympics, Ride London 100 and TofB. No boulders necessary on any of it.

But you don't know the road in question, unlike me (I've been up it about a dozen times this year) and the local coucil.

oozaveared wrote:

And the council must be bloated because they have time enough and people enough and money to engage in this sort of nonsense. . Sounds very like 1,100 is not enough

So if they put down boulders (that you suspect may be unnecessary, even though you don't know the road in question) then councils are bloated by definition? I think you may be looking to confirm a pre existing bias against the public sector.

As I said in my post the actual job cuts will be 2500 council staff, which may be more to your liking (although what it has to do with you as a Surrey resident I really don't know).

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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usedtobefaster wrote:

Wouldn't it have been simpler (and less costly) to have closed the road earlier than the current plan and have the police clear the climb of anything that doesn't have permission to be there?

The road is an important trans Pennine route and it is already being closed two days before the actual race!

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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I do hope many of you moaning twats don't come.

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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andyp wrote:

'And since I am actually a Kirklees council tax payer it is me who is paying!'

Just you?

No, not just me. Although I may be the only person posting on this thread who is paying council tax to Kirklees. I may also be the only person on this thread who is facing the threats to my safety imagined by Martyn Bolt when I descend Holme Moss into Holme. And I am quite happy with the boulders thanks very much.

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Leodis [403 posts] 2 years ago
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leguape wrote:
leqin wrote:

tell me - is there any organisation in Yorkshire who wants the Tour De France to visit the county and for the riders taking part to have a great race and for the people watching it to enjoy themselves, only all we seem to have heard for months is about one spoil sport politically correct tosser after another doing everything they can do to make it a complete waste of effort by those who worked so hard bringing the race to Yorkshire.

When you say "worked so hard" do you mean Welcome to Yorkshire who bade without funding, grossly underestimated the cost and then turned to DCMS and local councils to pay in excess of £20m for something they touted as costing about quarter to half of that at best? So inadequate was the planning that the DCMS insisted on parachuting in an entire new company of experienced major event management to keep things on track and manage elements like this.

It's the councils and authorities having to deal with all the logistics of the event and the clean up afterwards when Welcome to Yorkshire are claiming all the glory of what will be - regardless of actual numbers - sold as a massive triumph. Local authorities on the route have every reason to be aggrieved and opposed given how much they've had to stump up resource-wise to make this happen and how little of the reflected glory they'll be getting.

Please don't come, keep your money for your bike humping it up Box ramp.

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leqin [171 posts] 2 years ago
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leguape wrote:

When you say "worked so hard" do you mean Welcome to Yorkshire who bade without funding, grossly underestimated the cost and then turned to DCMS and local councils to pay in excess of £20m for something they touted as costing about quarter to half of that at best? So inadequate was the planning that the DCMS insisted on parachuting in an entire new company of experienced major event management to keep things on track and manage elements like this.

It's the councils and authorities having to deal with all the logistics of the event and the clean up afterwards when Welcome to Yorkshire are claiming all the glory of what will be - regardless of actual numbers - sold as a massive triumph. Local authorities on the route have every reason to be aggrieved and opposed given how much they've had to stump up resource-wise to make this happen and how little of the reflected glory they'll be getting.

So a better plan would be to just tell the Tour de France to piss off and take their silly little bike race back to 4kin France because we don't want it and we don't need it and your a bunch of bloody foreigners anyway so we don't give a toss what you think.

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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oozaveared wrote:

Just put up a sign saying you can't park here between these dates .... The threat is enough. It's self financing because you just get the police to issue the order and then have it towed privately if necessary. The fee covers the towing and storage.

They HAVE put up signs, just as you suggested. They have also put a handful of small boulders on the upper hairpin and (by the look of the photos on the Examiner website) one rough piece of ground that could act as a layby. Most of the road up has a ditch on one side and a crash barrier on the other so it would be impossible to park up without blocking one carriageway.

The Pennines is plastered with old gritstone quarries so getting hold of stone costs buttons. It makes more sense to put a few stones down to prevent a problem than try to tow some arsehole off the road who tries to drive up as the race approaches!

I would imagine the fire risk is also a reason for wanting to prevent people trying to camp up. They have only just put out the fire at Hepworth and that was going for about two weeks. The whole area is a tinder box.

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oozaveared [937 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Chris James wrote:
oozaveared wrote:

No I live in Surrey but I am from the New Forest. We have had big bike races in Surrey three or four years on the trot. Pre Olympic test, Olympics, Ride London 100 and TofB. No boulders necessary on any of it.

But you don't know the road in question, unlike me (I've been up it about a dozen times this year) and the local coucil.

oozaveared wrote:

And the council must be bloated because they have time enough and people enough and money to engage in this sort of nonsense. . Sounds very like 1,100 is not enough

So if they put down boulders (that you suspect may be unnecessary, even though you don't know the road in question) then councils are bloated by definition? I think you may be looking to confirm a pre existing bias against the public sector.

Well no council needs to be moving large boulders to stop people parking. That's the issue. You may be right, I am certain that you are, that some parking restriction might be useful at certain point. Surrey has loads of them when there is a bike race but without moving boulders about the place. That's the point. It just sounds fishy. Is the local big boulder salesman related to someone or offering reverse manual donations (backhanders to you) to the Highways department.

Maybe people in Yorkshire are just more badly behaved than average and ordinary parking restrictions warning and sanctions as used in the rest of the country just won't work.

To be honest I think it's got to be a kickback from Boulders R'us.

I don't have an animus about the public sector. There's plenty for them to do. If they did it then everyone would be better off. But for some reason they always complain that the everyday stuff can't be done due to lack of resources but there's never any lack of funds in the budget headed "useless idiocy". Not enough money for potholes and proper council business but plenty of spare bodies, lorries and cash for boulder relocation work.

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Chris James [388 posts] 2 years ago
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You are, quite simply bonkers. There is no point debating with you and your bizarre boulder conspiracies.

I feel very confident that the Yorkshire stages of the Tour will blow people's socks off.

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cisgil23 [55 posts] 2 years ago
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There are two points on this article that I would like to comment on, viz :
1) Leguape wrote
--------------
"Jobsworths like the French police and gendarmes do every year in France? I watches them doing exactly what you describe as "jobsworth" to riders trying to get up Col de Pailheres last year.
You ever had any dealing with ASO, or local bodies in France? Because let me tell you, they make what you call jobsworth seem like light touch regulation".
------------
That's generally the case with everyday admin, but not the Tour, or most cycling-connected examples.
I rode between Nyons and Aubres-LesPilles (about 9 km ) just before the publicity caravan was due, and well after the road was closed to traffic. No problem, in fact loads of cheers !
2) I agree with those that ask why instead of boulders, they simply stop vehicles going up. If you want to watch it up there, walk or ride up. For camping, give the local economy a boost by paying someone for a pitch. Easy-peasy.

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Some Fella [890 posts] 2 years ago
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When i woke up this morning i have to say i never expected to read the sentence:
"There is no point debating with you and your bizarre boulder conspiracies."

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farrell [1950 posts] 2 years ago
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How do you stop vehicles going up though? The road is going to be open until 6:30 on the day so you could drive up and sling it at the side of the road at any time before that. Have they got a vehicle carrier big enough for a massive Winnebago type affair at the ready?

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