The Rail Delivery Group has revealed plans to increase the number of train services running in key Yorkshire locations during the Tour de France.
Operators have been working with organisers of the Tour de France to ensure that spectators can access the race route using the railway. As a result, many train companies will be running extra services, or adding additional carriages to carry more passengers. Further details of local trains will be available from mid-May.
The first stage of the Tour de France will start in Leeds and end in Harrogate on 5 July. The second stage will then begin in York and end in Sheffield on 6 July, and head south for a stage on 7 July, which begins in Cambridge and ends in London. Train operators are expecting services to be busy during this period with the number of travellers boosted not only by the Tour de France itself, but also by local road closures.
Between the 5th and 7th of July, normal cycle carriage policies will apply, but passengers are advised to avoid taking bikes on trains as high demand may mean longer waits for passengers with bikes as spaces are limited.
Unless passengers have reserved space for their bike, an option available mainly with intercity operators, they are being advised to allow extra time to make their journey, with operators warning travellers may not be able to board their planned train with a bicycle.
A pdf of service information from all the key rail providers can be found here. An National Rail Enquiries app available to android and iPhone users is also downloadable on both Google Play and iTunes. This tool will carry up to date information on facilities at stations, carriage rules, available space on trains and reservation bookings.
Conrad Haigh, head of integrated transport at the Association of Train Operating Companies, said: “The Tour de France coming to Britain is a great occasion and train operators have worked hard with the organisers to ensure that as many people as possible can get to the event by train. Operators will keep their usual cycle carriage policies in place, but passengers need to be aware that the demand for space will be much higher.
“As well as people who normally travel, more will be using the train to avoid road closures and there will be thousands of Tour spectators so many services will be very busy. Cyclists are being asked to take a sensible approach and avoid bringing a bike on any train that might be busier than usual because of the Tour de France but, if it’s unavoidable, they should allow extra time to make their journey.”