Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Le Tour de France is coming to Redbridge

I’ve never understood why the “Tour de France” has any part of its route in England. It’s like holding the Oxford/Cambridge boat race on the Seine, it just doesn’t seem right. However, I was vaguely aware of it because the trophy was on display at Ilford Central library a while ago. I just didn’t realise the route was coming through part of Redbridge and what the scale and implications were until Ron emailed me. He explains:
This Tour de France is going to cause major access problems. It kicks off at Leeds on 5th July and by Monday 7th July it hits Essex. Coming through Cambridge - Chelmsford - Epping - Lea Bridge Road finishing at Buckingham Palace via The Mall.
Street furniture is to be removed, if felt it could be dangerous. I believe Epping council are already preparing easy removal furniiture to facilitate. The roads along the route will be closed early morning (8am) until 4pm in the evening. It’s said no-one apart from emergency vehicles will be allowed to cross the route and all access roads to the route will be closed. This will virtually divide Essex and London from East to West.
There will only be a few places to reach the 'Other side' - underpasses like M25 for instance, but for the life of me I cannot see a crossing point for motorists to use- from Epping ( M25) through into London.
I understand the long close down is because the Sponsors preceeding the race (throwing out their goodies) will take1-2 hours to pass before cyclists are expected. This being the final stage of the race the riders are expected to be well straggled out followed by the entourage of up to 5000 officials.
The scale of the Event is huge with 200 riders, 2000 vehicles and up to 5000 officials and press staff using the route. The event organisers will work with all agencies to ensure the minimum road closure timeframe is in place but they warn closures will be in place for up to 8 hours.
I’m rather looking forward to seeing the race come through and acknowledge the sponsors will pick up the bill for costs to local authorities etc but who should be organising information on access during this 10 hour shut down? I hope they dont leave it too late to advise people. How will the likes of Doctors and Carers get to reach their patients if they dont know? Contingency plans are a must, but little info to the public is being given. Maybe I'm worrying too soon - but time flies. Perhaps B21 might find out more?
Many of our members who live on this side of the Epping New Road and stable their horses in the High Beach area will have to organise getting their mounts looked after.
Ron King.
Secretary, Epping Forest Riders Association.
So that’s 10 vehicles and 26 people for every bicycle. On a Monday. A schoolday. The route enters Redbridge from Essex on Epping New Road, proceeds along High Road Woodford and then Woodford New Road to Waterworks Corner in Waltham Forest. There are at least eight schools along that route in Redbridge. And waterworks roundabout will be closed to traffic.

Here’s the page on Redbridge-i to keep you up to date.


  1. Replies
    1. At least, the French flag is not as 'testing' as the British one!
      I think they should scrap the Britishness test and simply ask people to draw the Union Jack.
      ps: I would fail! (Crottes de bique!)

  2. I well remember coming into contact with this circus in the Netherlands and, after visiting the area south of Maastricht, having to get back to our hotel in the north of Maastricht by using a long circular diversion via the outskirts of Liége - which isn't even in the same country!

    This year we will be avoiding the chaos completely - we will be in France! We will also be well clear of the disaster area when the circus returns across the Channel - France is a big place to hide in! - and come back when all the fuss is over ...

    1. I've never much cared for Maastricht.

  3. Remember to tell them that we drive on the left, or if they are Brits, any side you want, ignore red lights and one way streets.

  4. I am a bit worried about the roundabouts