The Department for Transport (DfT) is making it easier for towns and cities to host future Tour de France stages and other elite cycling events in England.
The updates to road regulations would encourage more tourism, create a boost for the economy and give people across the country a chance to experience the buzz of world class sport in their area. The move supports a thriving activity, with 680 road races across the UK in 2014.
The plans add to the government’s wider commitment to double the number of cycle journeys. The DfT is investing more than £200 million in cycle lanes and infrastructure over the next five years to encourage even more people to get on their bikes and reduce congestion and pollution.
Cycling Minister Robert Goodwill said: “As last year’s stages of the Tour de France in England has shown there is a great appetite for cycle racing in this country. We want to help inspire a new generation of cyclists, rather than act as a headwind. That way we can make sure there’s always a Brit in the yellow jersey.
“These common sense reforms will simplify the process for the holding of races and will make it easier for the best riders in the world to race in England.”
The announcement to encourage more elite cycling events comes after Chris Froome’s second Tour de France victory showed the strength of British professional cycling. In 2014, one-off regulations had to be introduced to ensure England could host the hugely successful opening stages of the Tour, which attracted 2.5 million spectators to Yorkshire alone.
The new rules are part of the Government’s Red Tape Challenge to cut unnecessary regulatory burdens. They will make it easier for organisers to bring elite races to local communities by modernising outdated rules on the total number of participants. The minimum permitted circuit distance will also be reduced from 10 miles to 5 miles.