There can surely be nobody who is still unaware that the Tour de France is coming to Essex on July 7th. The County and District Councils have provided leaflets and newsletters to every home detailing the route, the timings, the disruption, the expected crowds. Not to be outdone, we have looked at all the information available and picked out the information that relates specifically to Epping to try and give residents a clearer idea of what it will be like here in the Town.
The race will enter the Town from North Weald, passing down the Plain, Palmers Hill and the High Street and leaving the Town via the High Rd en route to London. – The expected arrival time of the race itself in Epping is around 2.30 -2.45pm - The caravan will arrive up to an hour earlier with sponsors floats and entertainment. – Several hundred support vehicles will follow behind the cyclists themselves. – There is a mini-sprint stage which will have its finish line outside Barclays/ Costa.
There will be massive disruption on the day of the race on the road network. The route through Epping will be closed from 9.00 am to vehicular traffic. It will not re-open until around 5 pm. It will be possible to cross the High Street on foot at the existing pedestrian crossings until shortly before the caravan arrives. Palmers Hill will not have barriers beside the Town Greens so pedestrians will be able to cross there freely until just before the caravan arrives. Other roads in the Town will be open, with barriers only at the junctions themselves. There will be marshals at all the junctions.
There will be around 20 portable toilets provided in the Town, a large block near the existing toilets in the Cottis Lane Car Park and a smaller block on the other side of the High Street near Grove Lane.
St John’s Ambulance will be providing first aid support in the Town. There will be two medical treatment facilities provided, one on the forecourt of the Duke of Wellington and one on the access road behind the High Street outside the EFDC depot (opposite Station Rd). Ambulances will be stationed in St Johns Rd and Clarkes Lane.
Disability Viewing Areas
Two areas have been arranged specifically for disabled residents to view the race, outside the Fire Station and on Grove Lane. Space is limited and residents should contact Peter Charman at the District Council to book places. He can be contacted at PCharman@eppingforestdc.gov.uk
Additional Car Parking will be available on the day at Shaftesbury Farm, Lindsey Street, Thornwood Rd and St Johns School Crowds The organisers have anticipated that there are likely to be up to 20,000 people in Epping to watch the race, with as many as 6,000 of these expected in the market area alone. The event is massive so please plan ahead and arrive in plenty of time to avoid disappointment.
There will be a funfair at the Stonards Hill Recreation Ground to entertain before or after the race itself. The Hemnall Social Club on the junction of Clarkes Lane is organising activities for children, entertainment and face painting and of course refreshments
From Essex County Council: Click Here
From Epping Forest District Council: Click Here
Featured picture courtesy of Rob Ibjema http://paintingletour.blogspot.co.uk
Last week Epping Forest District Council offered the Cottis Lane Car Park to the Town Council as an alternative location for the Town Market on July 7th as the High Street will not be available.
The Town Council consulted with the market traders, and over 75% of them (representing 82% of the number of stalls) voted against holding the market in the Car Park.
Town Mayor, Will Breare-Hall said “The Town Council sought permission to move the market to Cottis Lane because we considered it important to support the traders, on what will be one of the busiest days in Epping for many years. However, our consultation with them revealed that they don’t wish us to pursue this option further and we respect their decision.”
Responses from Market Traders:
The Town Mayor, Will Breare-Hall, received a response today to his letter requesting compensation for Epping Market Traders who will lose business due to the cancellation of the Town Market on July 7th:
Essex County Council (ECC) recognises the Tour de France (TdF) event will have to implement road closures to ensure the race can happen safely across the Essex route. This unfortunately will cause disruption to Epping Town Council’s Monday market, which we have been advised by crowd and traffic management experts, means it will not be safe for the market to operate that day. Although this major event is for one day only, we are working in partnership with Epping Forest District Council to identify if there is a viable solution for the market for that day.
Unfortunately, compensation is not available for the whole of the three stages of the event. The event is funded by budget from central government and managed by the TdFHub, a government limited company. ECC is not the lead organiser responsible for the event. However, we are working closely with key partners including Yorkshire, Cambridge and TDF Hub 2014 to successfully deliver this major sporting event and minimise disruption to residents and businesses wherever possible. The wider benefits of the event include expecting many spectators viewing this once in a lifetime opportunity to see the world class cyclists which we hope will inspire a new generation of people to be more active
We do not have more information about the reference to a “viable solution for the market” as yet, though we are meeting with colleagues from the District Council early next week. The only possible location for the market that has not already been considered would be the Cottis Lane Car Park, which we have understood was to be open as normal on the day of the race.
The letter also contained some information about the street furniture that is being installed in Epping High Street in May:
With regard to your question regarding street furniture I have spoken with ECC highway officers and the 5 pairs of traffic islands in Epping will be replaced with permanent bolt down islands that can be removed for the Tour de France sprint stage and any event in the future that Epping may hold that requires their removal.
The islands are aesthetically pleasing and are in a granite finish to complement the street scene of Epping. The current islands are in a poor state of repair with varying types of solar and normal electrically powered bollards which are old and require a great deal of maintenance. The new islands will have modern solar powered “keep left” signs with no electrical connection, so are greener, easier and cheaper to maintain.
Cllr Ann Naylor CC
As most residents will be aware (unless you have been hiding from all media coverage, in which case I congratulate you for finding your way here) there will be a mini-sprint stage of the Tour de France on 7th July that has it’s climax (and the finish line!) at the Plaza (by the water fountain) in the High Street.
Epping is expected to have several thousand spectators watching the sprint in the market place and along the Town Greens – it promises to be an exciting and memorable day for the whole town, but it will not be without disruption- the Town Council is able to provide some more information about the arrangements on the day:
- North Weald Market will take place as usual on Saturday 5th July
- Epping Town Show will take place on Sunday 6th July – there should be no disruption caused by the Tour that will affect it.
- As was announced last week, the Monday market is cancelled on 7th July. The Town Council has made a request to Epping Forest District Council that no street trading licences be issued on the day so as not to further disadvantage market traders and we are pleased to report that the District Council have granted this request. We have also asked Essex County Council to consider deploying Trading Standards on the day to deal with any sellers of counterfeit Tour memorabilia that may target Epping for the event.
- Road Closures – The entire route was originally going to be closed from 7.30 in the morning on July 7th. Thanks to lobbying from the District Council, organisers have agreed to push that time back to 9am along the route south of the Talbot roundabout, which will lessen the disruption for Epping to some degree. The roads are not going to re-open until 5 pm, however. There will be much more detail about the closures and diversion routes coming in the next couple of months.
- Although the High Street closed to all traffic, there will be 5 crossing points for pedestrians open for the majority of the day to allow movement around the Town. These will obviously be closed when the caravan of the race comes through.
- The organisers will be providing toilet facilities for spectators in Epping, exact numbers and location to be confirmed.
- There are no plans for “big screens” in Epping.
- The District Council is looking into provision of cycle storage in Epping, and the possibility of a “Park and Walk” scheme for people who want to see the Tour in North Weald. Access to North Weald Airfield will be possible on the day via J7 and the A414. The A414 will be closed between the Rayley Lane roundabout and the Talbot, however.
- Schools – each school will make its own decision as to whether or not to open on the day. The Town Council will publicise this when it has the information.
- Essex County Council are maintaining an FAQ for residents and visitors concerning the Tour. It can be found at http://www.essex.gov.uk/Pages/Tour-de-France.aspx
Please share your views/ thoughts about the visit of the World’s largest free spectator sporting event!
The Town Council has reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the Monday Market on July 7th, the day Stage 3 of the Tour de France will be passing through the Town. After receipt of the draft travel and crowd management plan, it became obvious that if the organisers were expecting up to 6,000 people to watch the event from the Market place, there would be no possibility the market could be held.
Essex County Council own the Market place (it is part of the public highway) and they are organising the road closures in conjunction with the event organisers.