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Police say some signs aimed to give lasting reminder of where race are for sale on auction sites

Road signs commemorating the route of last month’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France through Yorkshire are being stolen by souvenir-hunters, with some ending up for sale on internet auction sites.

North Yorkshire Police says that the metal signs, which are brown like others displaying directions and information for tourists and also have the Yorkshire Grand Départ logo, cost between £100 and £300 each.

They were put in place throughout the region so cyclists and motorists can follow the route the race took on the opening two stages from Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield, reports BBC News York & North Yorkshire.

One officer, Chris Galley, tweeted a picture of two of the signs.

 

 

Inspector Chris Galley of North Yorkshire Police said: "These signs have been removed from street furniture and worryingly some have been put up for sale using internet selling sites.

"These expensive signs are the property of North Yorkshire County Council and provide a lasting legacy marker of the route which should be for all road users to enjoy for years to come.

"If anyone has any information about specialist signs relating to the Tour de France they can contact North Yorkshire Police on 101 and pass that information on in confidence.”

He continued: "We will investigate all reports of theft but North Yorkshire Police is currently taking a sensible approach to what may be over zealous trophy taking from around the route."

Inspector Galley added that police would work alongside North Yorkshire County Council to make sure the signs are restored, and that anyone coming across one can hand it in to council offices or any police station.

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.

17 comments

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enigmaman [24 posts] 3 years ago
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"...provide a lasting legacy marker of the route which should be for all road users to enjoy for years to come."

I can't really see the point myself, not when the race has been and gone long since. What would have made a lot more sense would have been for the Council to remove the signs themselves and sell them off.

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zanf [963 posts] 3 years ago
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enigmaman wrote:

"...provide a lasting legacy marker of the route which should be for all road users to enjoy for years to come."

I can't really see the point myself, not when the race has been and gone long since. What would have made a lot more sense would have been for the Council to remove the signs themselves and sell them off.

Because its about post race tourism of people wanting to ride the routes.

Quite frankly its theft (from Yorkshire taxpayers) and they should prosecute anyone who steals them.

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Yorkshie Whippet [619 posts] 3 years ago
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enigmaman wrote:

"...provide a lasting legacy marker of the route which should be for all road users to enjoy for years to come."

I can't really see the point myself, not when the race has been and gone long since. What would have made a lot more sense would have been for the Council to remove the signs themselves and sell them off.

These aren't the ASO event route marking, most of them went on the day. These are proper Tourist Information signs marking the route for those that want to ride or drive the route well after the event.

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WolfieSmith [1382 posts] 3 years ago
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Unfortunately The Skipton to Cray road is now chocker with cyclists following the route and tangling with pretty thick fast moving traffic up hill and down dale. It's no one's fault and the cyclists have a perfect right to ride it but it's not a pleasurable experience for much of stage 1.

Like many Pro cycle routes it's fine when it's closed to traffic but pretty hairy when not.

Even on the Cray to Hawes section you're plagued by the constant close passing MALCOLM's - Middle Aged Leather Clads On Large Motorbikes. Or 'knob rockets' as the wonderful Tim Moore calls them.

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dp24 [204 posts] 3 years ago
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enigmaman wrote:

I can't really see the point myself, not when the race has been and gone long since.

Because many people will still want to cycle the route, and having it marked - like thousands of other tourist attractions across the country - seems an obvious thing to do.

Unfortunately this story doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

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Chris James [439 posts] 3 years ago
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Stage two (or at least the bits from Huddersfield to Langsett) never had the brown road signs.

I thought it was a nice idea so you could easily follow the route. It was obvious that they are proper road signs, and what their purpose was, so whoever has taken them must have known they were stealing them.

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dp24 [204 posts] 3 years ago
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Chris James wrote:

Stage two (or at least the bits from Huddersfield to Langsett) never had the brown road signs.

There were certainly ones around and on Holme Moss.

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Beaufort [270 posts] 3 years ago
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Common theft. Flog the perps.

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Kapelmuur [397 posts] 3 years ago
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Last week I rode past a sign in Northern France "Feed station - 10KM Sky" - left over from the Tour perhaps?

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middlering [57 posts] 3 years ago
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MercuryOne wrote:

Unfortunately The Skipton to Cray road is now chocker with cyclists following the route and tangling with pretty thick fast moving traffic up hill and down dale. It's no one's fault and the cyclists have a perfect right to ride it but it's not a pleasurable experience for much of stage 1.

Like many Pro cycle routes it's fine when it's closed to traffic but pretty hairy when not.

Even on the Cray to Hawes section you're plagued by the constant close passing MALCOLM's - Middle Aged Leather Clads On Large Motorbikes. Or 'knob rockets' as the wonderful Tim Moore calls them.

Perhaps they could mark routes the way it's done over in Flanders for Ronde. The way marked route(s) are not exact replica of the actual route, but close approximations. Mainly, they move as many hazardous highway portions as they can to smaller roads, while still keeping all the bergs and flat pave sections on the route.

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Chris James [439 posts] 3 years ago
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dp24 wrote:
Chris James wrote:

Stage two (or at least the bits from Huddersfield to Langsett) never had the brown road signs.

There were certainly ones around and on Holme Moss.

Really? I've been up there twice since the Tour and several times shortly before, and never noticed any.

Maybe I am just not very observant!

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shabbyhouse [4 posts] 3 years ago
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The resurfacing work done above Grinton by North Yorkshire County Council should put plenty off. Great time to choose to scatter gravel across a perfectly decent surface, covering up all the fine art and providing a rider's nightmare for the duration. I always had the feeling NYCC never wanted the tour anyway, so they won't mind the signs going missing.

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CarbonBreaker [86 posts] 3 years ago
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Yesterday evening I rode through Rotterdam, which still has lovely little inset stone slabs marking the route of the 2010 Prologue of the TdF, so it can be done...

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dp24 [204 posts] 3 years ago
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Chris James wrote:

Really? I've been up there twice since the Tour and several times shortly before, and never noticed any.

Maybe I am just not very observant!

I specifically remember one part of the way down the descent, as I recall thinking "errm yeah, what other way is there to go?"  4

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Dave_B [3 posts] 3 years ago
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I rode Stage 1 on the Sunday, i.e. the day after the Tour went through. The signs were quite subtle but fairly easy to follow. I think they were a great idea.

Hope they manage to prosecute the scumbag maggots who ripped them off.

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K Stand Ken [59 posts] 3 years ago
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enigmaman wrote:

What would have made a lot more sense would have been for the Council to remove the signs themselves and sell them off.

Hopefully the proceeds might have gone to cycling related charities

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bikesidcup [4 posts] 3 years ago
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"Perhaps they could mark routes the way it's done over in Flanders for Ronde. The way marked route(s) are not exact replica of the actual route, but close approximations. Mainly, they move as many hazardous highway portions as they can to smaller roads, while still keeping all the bergs and flat pave sections on the route."

Nice idea, but there are few alternative routes for most of the course. I've ridden parts since the hubbub died down and it was pretty quiet most of the time. I'd like to see the sign posts back as a memento of the event, and those who pinched/sold on/purchased them subject to some appropriate form of punishment. Perhaps community service on cycle route signage...