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TOUR OF BRITAIN: Dartmouth prepares for its big day

By GuyHenderson  |  Posted: September 11, 2012

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Picture by Richard Larkin

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SPECTATORS who want to see Bradley Wiggins, Mark Cavendish and the other world-class cyclists in this year’s Devon Stage of The Tour of Britain on Saturday 15 September have 106 miles of the county’s roads to choose from.

Tour de France winner and Olympic Time Trial Champion Bradley Wiggins and reigning World Road Race Champion Mark Cavendish are expected to attract bumper crowds on the Devon stage from Barnstaple to Dartmouth, via Dartmoor National Park – and it is anticipated that the turn out will exceed the 125,000 who lined last year’s route in the county.

At the finish venue in Dartmouth, while the town awaits the arrival of the riders, entertainment will continue throughout the day.

There will be a crabbing competition from 10am until 11am on South Embankment, local shops will hold a treasure hunt from 10am to 1pm, with entry forms available from the Tourist Information Centre, and there will be a fete at Coronation Park from 10am until 1:30pm and stalls at Royal Avenue Gardens from 10am until 4pm.

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There will also be a performance by the U3A choir in Market Square from 10:30am to 11:30am, and the Dartmouth Volunteer Band on the finish straight from 12:15pm to 1:15pm.

Andrei Burton, one of the world’s top mountain bike trials riders, will display his impressive skills at Coronation Park between 11am-11:30am, 12:15pm–12:45pm, and again at 1:30pm to 2pm.

Qualified Go Ride coaches will be available from 1:20pm to 2pm for anyone who would like to take the opportunity to ride the finish straight.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "There has never been a more exciting time in British cycling than right now.

"With the success of our cyclists at the London Olympics, and Bradley Wiggins winning an Olympic Gold medal as well as becoming the first British rider to win the Tour de France.

"This is a great opportunity to see him and World Champion Mark Cavendish in action.

"There is always an electric atmosphere at the start and finish venues, but it’s great for communities along the rest of the Stage to get together to see the riders race through their local town or village. The Tour is Britain’s biggest cycle race, but it’s also a community event because it is such an incredible spectacle. After such a memorable Summer of Cycling, this year’s Tour is sure to be a fantastic occasion.”

Councillor Jonathan Hawkins, South Hams District Councillor and County Councillor for Dartmouth, said: “We are delighted that this exciting event is coming to Devon and in particular Dartmouth. We are a small community, but always offer a big welcome. I hope that everyone enjoys their visit to this very beautiful part of the world.”

Mayor of Dartmouth, Councillor Paul Allen, said: "Dartmouth provides the perfect back drop for an event of such great importance. We are very happy to host The Tour and look forward to an exciting day for the competitors, visitors and local people."

Transport & Road Closures

Park and ride services are available, operating from the car park just outside Dartmouth on the A3122 to College Way (opposite Coronation Park).

An overflow car park will also be open at Venn Lane half a mile up from the main park and ride site. The last service from the car park before the race arrives is approximately 1pm.

Parking is very limited in Dartmouth and spectators are encouraged to use either park and ride, public transport or other local services as there will be an 8km parking suspension in place from Strete to Dartmouth, one hour before the race finish.

Local Dartmouth bus services will drop-off and pick-up passengers and turn in the car park on the B3245, outside the Police Station.

The Higher Ferry service operates between Dartmouth and Kingswear at the northern end of the embankment, while the Lower Ferry is at the Southern end. The last time that cars will be able to embark and disembark the Higher Ferry on the Dartmouth side will be approximately 1pm. Full service will resume at approximately 2.45pm.

Access to and from the Lower Ferry, will be via the alternative route of Victoria Road.

Traffic will be unable to access Victoria Road via The Quay or turn from Victoria Road on to College Way and vice versa from 14.15 for approximately 30 minutes until the race has passed and it is safe for roads to re-open.

The park and ride service at Kingswear operates from a field car park outside Kingswear on the B3205 (Slappers Hill) opposite Hill head Caravan Club site, and links to Dartmouth via the Lower Ferry in Kingswear, but the cost of the ferry service is extra.

The foot passenger ferry between Dartmouth and Kingswear operates from Dartmouth from 7:30am until 11:10pm and from Kingswear from 7:40am to 11:15pm. The crossing takes around 15 minutes.

There are also ferry services to Dartmouth from Torquay, Brixham, and Greenway Quay and Dittisham. Dartmouth Steam Railway from Paignton to Kingswear where passengers can then use the passenger ferry to Dartmouth.

There will be fixed road closures in place in the start and finish locations and rolling road closures along the route of the race enforced by 62 police and civilian motorcycles. The rolling road closures will only be in effect for a limited period to allow the race and race vehicles to travel through towns and villages safely and to allow residents, businesses and visitors ample opportunity to see the event safely.

In Dartmouth, the B3205/North Embankment from Spithead turning to Rue De Courseulles Sur Mer, Mayors Avenue and Mayors Avenue car park will all be closed from 4.45am to 7.30pm

All Dartmouth town traffic will be stopped from 1.15pm to 2.30pm as riders reach the finish line. This includes Coombe Road, the A379/College Way Entrance to Fire and Ambulance Station, and the College Way turning to Townstal Road. Spithead, The Quay and B3205 leading into Mayors Avenue will also be closed from 2.15pm to 2.45pm. Townstal Road and Yorke Road will be covered by the rolling road closure.

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