From Willingale to Buckhurst Hill, local businesses are making final preparations for the arrival of the Tour de France on Monday 7 July 2014.
Months of planning is coming together as businesses large and small put their final arrangements in place. Some of the district’s most picturesque villages and rural communities will become the centre of attention including Willingale, Fyfield and Moreton. From village post offices, pubs and corner shops to farmers fields offering parking and camping, the rural areas of Epping Forest will be buzzing with activity.
As the Tour reaches North Weald, the crowds of spectators are expected to get very large. Epping Ongar Railway is planning to bring lots of spectators from Ongar to North Weald by steam train. The parking and campervan facilities at North Weald Airfield are sure to bring in more people. In addition to camping and parking, Toll House Field at Woodside, North Weald www.wealdplaceevents.co.uk is also offering secure bicycle parking for the many cycling enthusiasts expected to line the route. Shops in North Weald and Epping are preparing for large crowds.
Visitors can get in to the Tour de France mood early on Sunday 6 July 2014 with a charity cycling event from North Weald Airfield organised by Epping Forest District Council’s chairman, Councillor Tony Boyce, while the annual Epping Town Show and funfair takes place at Stonards Hill.
With High Street parking off-limits on Monday 7 July, Shaftsbury Farm in Lindsey Street, is offering parking just a 10 minute walk from the action in Epping High Street. Parking can also be booked in advance with St John’s School.
Special arrangements to welcome spectators along the Epping New Road are in hand at Miller and Carter by the Wake Arms, The Robin Hood and The Warren Inn in Buckhurst Hill. Staff and customers are planning to celebrate the day in style at Glyn Hopkins Fiat and Nissan dealership in Buckhurst Hill. The ‘bikers’ café loved by motorcyclists, horse riders and walkers at the Robin Hood roundabout will be sure to have hot tea or ice-cold drinks by the gallon depending on the weather.
Town and Parish councils are also making final preparations. Epping Town, North Weald, Fyfield, Moreton, Waltham Abbey, Loughton and Buckhurst Hill are all taking delivery of Tour de France bunting to give the streets a festival feel. Epping Forest District Council has started to decorate the civic offices where the media centre will be based while Epping shops of every size and description are preparing to put on a real show for the day.
Councillor Anne Grigg, portfolio holder for economic development at Epping Forest District Council said: “As we enter the last few days of preparation, you can feel a sense of excitement and anticipation. On 7 July, Epping Forest District will have its own shop-window to the world. Residents and businesses are making their final plans for this once in a life time event. As visitors come to our towns and villages or see Epping Forest for the first time via the estimated 2.2 billion world-wide TV audience, the shops and businesses of Epping Forest are determined to make the day a fantastic success.”
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