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Cambridge could make city centre roads traffic free (except for cyclists) on every anniversary of next summer's Tour visit

Officials planning legacy events to make the most of the French invasion

Cambridge could have traffic free days in the city centre each year to mark the anniversary of the Tour de France visit next July.

The closed roads would mimic the ones needed for the race, according the the Cambridge News.

It's just one of the ideas suggested at a meeting to discuss the potential cycling legacy of the Tour's visit, with the aim of encouraging new riders to try the city streets for themselves.

The Tour is expected to attract up to 400,000 fans to the city, and another idea being floated is for a local cycle race the day before the pros arrive.

1,000 volunteers, who will likely be known as 'Le Tourmakers' after London 2012's 'Gamesmakers', will be trained up to help on the day.

And much like the Olympics, the pressure is on local officials to make the most of the tourism opportunities and create a lasting legacy of sport.

Cllr Rod Cantrill, Cambridge City Council’s cycling tsar, said: “I believe this is a chance for us to inspire local people to become more involved in cycling and sport in general.

“We will seek to substantially increase participation in the sport following the Tour de France, ensuring that local cycling clubs are able to handle the increase in interest brought about by the Tour de France coming to the city.

“We must increase the number of cyclists in the city, improve the cycling infrastructure and reduce the number of cycling accidents.”

Just yesterday we announced progress on the infrastructure front, as Cambridge looks set to get the UK biggest multi-storey bike park, with space for almost 3,000 bikes, after the city council’s planning committee on Tuesday approved plans for the development of the site at the railway station.

The bike park is part of the city council’s £850 million project to improve the area around Cambridge station and is expected to open in December 2014.

The £2.5 million project includes a 230-bedroom hotel on the site of the current British Transport Police building, which will be knocked down.

Jim Chisholm, from Cambridge Cycling Campaign, said it was desperately needed and would help to reduce congestion on the roads.

He said: “The current scheme isn’t perfect perfect. It doesn’t have cycleable ramps, it doesn’t face the station, there is currently no direct connection to the overbridge, and conflicts between users may occur at the entrance.

“But it is good and for many, many reasons we urgently need the step-up in cycling provision that this building offers.”

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Alan Tullett | 10 years ago

Cambridge city centre is free of cars every day from 10-4. In the past even cyclists couldn't use it during that time. The parking at the station is definitely needed although I don't use it myself. Last time I left a bike there over 20 years ago it got stolen. But it'll cost.

TeamCC | 10 years ago

I have friends in Germany that talk about shut downs of roads for walks, runs, rollerblading and cycling. It is a minor disruption for cars as it is planned and promoted early. For the community it is a great day out, claiming space for only a while that is the domain of cars and letting other roads users to have at it. Capital Cycles

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