On Monday 7 July 2014, Essex will experience another fantastic sporting day and enjoy the spectacle of Le Tour de France.
An amazing and unforgettable spectacle
The tour takes to the streets of Essex as part of Stage 3 of the race.
It enters the county north of Saffron Walden taking in the quaint villages of Uttlesford including Finchingfield, the most photographed village in England. As riders journey further south, they will pass Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest en route to London.
Essex County Council is working with a range of partners to help deliver the plans for the day. These include experts who were involved in the delivery of the traffic and crowd management plans for London 2012. This is a complicated process but very necessary to facilitate such a large sporting event.
Where and when is the Tour de France?
In 2014 the Tour de France returns to the UK for 3 stages. The Yorkshire Grand Depart comprises two stages – Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield. The Tour moves south for a third stage which begins in Cambridge, before entering 4 districts of Essex (Uttlesford, Braintree, Chelmsford and Epping Forest). Stage 3 finishes in London.
- Saturday 5 July 2014 – Stage One: Leeds to Harrogate – 190km (118 miles)
- Sunday 6 July 2014 – Stage Two: York to Sheffield – 200km (125 miles)
- Monday 7 July 2014 – Stage Three: Cambridge to Essex to London – 159km (106 miles)
Which roads will close and when?
The scale of the event is huge with 200 riders, 2,000 vehicles and up to 5,000 officials and press staff. The event organisers will work with all agencies to ensure the minimum road closure timeframe is in place but it is anticipated the closures will be in place for up to 8 hours. Special dispensation will be given to emergency services.
Detailed lists of road closures throughout Essex can be seen on the Essex County Council website.
Preceded by a the colourful Caravanne Publicitaire, the Tour is expected to reach the District late lunch time. Keeping north of the A414, it will take in demanding country lanes with plenty of scope for incident and excitement on the narrow twists and curves. Residents of Willingale, Abbess Beauchamp and Berners Roding, Fyfield, Moreton, and the Lavers will have roadside seats as Wiggins, Froome and Mark Cavendish take on the best of the rest of the World.
The route then crosses the A414 at the Talbot roundabout, taking the main road through North Weald Bassett and past North Weald Airfield. The cyclists will speed up through the short section of Epping Forest to St Margaret’s Hospital before sweeping down the Plain into Epping High Road for the rolling sprint. Very large crowds are expected in Epping for the sprint with many British hopes resting on sprint-specialist Mark Cavendish. It is then down to the Wake Arms Roundabout and the long straight Forest sections of the Epping New Road past Loughton and Buckhurst Hill to Woodford, leaving the District on the way to the finish on the Mall via the Olympic Park.
Epping Forest district road closure details are detailed below.
- Elms Road becomes Shellow Road and goes through Shellow Bowells
- Continue on Shellow Road which becomes Dukes Lane and then left into Birds Green
- Then left turn onto Dunmow Road B184
- Continue on the B184 which becomes Ongar Road and turn right into Moreton Road at Clatterford End
- Continue on Moreton Road which becomes Fyfield Road and then Maltings Hill
- Continue through Moreton on Church Road which becomes Harlow Road
- Just north of Moreton turn left into Wind Hill
- Continue on Wind Hill and then turn left into Weald Bridge Road
- Continue straight across the Talbot Roundabout towards North Weald and Epping on the B181
- Continue on the B181 High Road which becomes Epping Road and goes under the M11
- At the traffic signals turn left towards Epping on the B1393
- Continue through Epping High Street and then High Road on the B1393 which goes over the M25 Bell Common Tunnel
- Continue on the B1393 which becomes Epping Road and at the roundabout go straight over into Epping New Road the A104
- Continue on the A104 Epping New Road and leave Essex
The route of stage 3 of the Tour de France 2014 can be found on the Essex County Council website.
The route will be closed as follows
- The route in Uttlesford and Braintree will close at 7.30am
- The route in Chelmsford and Epping Forest to the north of the A414 Talbot roundabout will close at 8am
- The route from the Talbot roundabout south through North Weald and Epping, down to Buckhurst Hill will close at 9am
- Target reopening times are 4pm for Uttlesford and Braintree, for Chelmsford and Epping Forest at 5pm. Roads will be opened after the race as soon as possible.
Roads which lead directly to the route will be ‘access only’ from the junction closest to the route. A small number of these roads may be closed. More detailed updates will be published as they become available.
This length of time is needed to allow the route to be prepared, infrastructure to be put in place and removed afterwards, the Tour’s publicity ‘caravan’ of vehicles to travel through the stage, the race itself and the safe dispersal of spectators.
The route will need to be clear of vehicles prior to the road closure time. Pedestrian access will be available while the roads are closed through stewarded crossing points.
The Essex part of the route is expected to be closed from early morning. Early road closure times are needed to install and remove the facilities needed for people to safely enjoy this unique sporting event.
Essex County Councillor Ann Naylor, Cabinet Member for Public Health & Wellbeing, said: “Monday 7th July will be a celebration of cycling in Essex. It’s with real pride that we will welcome the world’s elite sporting cyclists. An amazing and unforgettable spectacle is promised against the backdrop of our beautiful rural and urban county. This unique event can’t fail to inspire even more people to take to their own bikes to get around or explore the sport of cycling.”
Find out more
For further information please go to the Essex County Council website where you will be able to see more information and also a range of Frequently Asked Questions around the event.
You will also find a route map showing which roads are to be closed on the day.
The Visit Essex website also contains a wealth of information to help your understanding and enjoyment of the event on the day.