As the excitement builds ahead of the greatest day in Sheffield’s sporting year, the local public transport operators have stepped up to meet the challenge of the huge crowds expected to visit the city.
Supertram services will provide a service that runs to the heart of the action in the Lower Don Valley area on Sunday (6 July). Trams will serve the Stage 2 finish area, the Don Valley Spectator Hub and the Meadowhall fan zone which is a short walk from Le Cote de Wincobank, with the steepest climb on the stage at Jenkin Road.
Alternatively, there will be lots to do in the city centre with a number of events as part of the Yorkshire Festival, including the Sheffield Festival of Colour, Space and Light. A giant walk-in inflatable art installation outside the Cathedral and the Yorkshire in Yellow exhibition at the Millennium Gallery are just two of the ‘must-see’ exhibits in the city centre..
The Moor presents ‘Blood, Sweat and Gears’ a day of fun and cycle-themed activities to get into Le Tour spirit on Saturday (5 July). The famous Vander Brothers will be bringing their thrilling Double Wheel circus act and 3Sixty Bicycle Stunt Team will be performing tricks, alongside street entertainment and children’s’ rides.
An enhanced tram service will run throughout this Sunday to provide race fans the best chance of catching the riders. The service will include:
* YELLOW route Middlewood - City - Meadowhall every 8 minutes in both directions
* BLUE route special Halfway - Sheffield Station - City - Meadowhall every 16 minutes in both directions
* PURPLE route special - Herdings Park - Sheffield Station - City - Malin Bridge every 30 minutes in both directions
Both the Yellow and Blue routes will serve the city centre, with trams running between the city and Meadowhall every 4-5minutes.
Sheffield’s city centre railway station has an adjacent tram stop and many trains also stop at Meadowhall, making access to the heart of the action from all over the UK really easy.
On Sunday (6 July), special tram (including shuttle bus) only day tickets will be available at £3 for adults and £1.50 for children. These tickets (as well as all other Stagecoach bus and tram Megariders and Dayriders that are valid for travel in Sheffield) will also be valid on the special shuttle buses operating between Malin Bridge - Low Bradfield and Middlewood - Oughtibridge Coronation Park.
Spectators are being encouraged to buy their tickets before the event whenever possible to save time on the day. The souvenir tram tickets for Sunday are now on sale from the Travel Information Centres at Sheffield Interchange, Arundel Gate, Hillsborough and Meadowhall
Supertram will operate a weekday, peak hours service on Sunday to provide a frequent link to the Lower Don Valley and Meadowhall area. The trams are expected to be the main choice of transport for the unprecedented number of spectators likely to descend on the city to watch one of the world’s greatest sporting events.
Details of the enhanced services and special event tickets that can be purchased in advance are available at www.supertram.com/tourdefrance.html
There will be some disruption to bus services in the north of the city centre with limited or no services available between 1pm and 7-8m on Sunday.
Councillor Isobel Bowler, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure said: “We are looking forward to welcoming this great international event to Sheffield and want everyone to have a fantastic experience.
“Using the tram and shuttle bus services will be the easiest way to access the route. We’re expecting the system to be busy so please make sure you allow plenty of time to reach your destination.
“For people wanting to ‘park and ride’ there’s plenty of parking in the city centre and once the race is over people can come and experience our ‘after party’ with lots of activity, including our French themed market on Fargate and a Tramlines stage until 9pm.”
Many spectators will be making a day of the event at one of the spectator hubs, but for those wishing to view the race along the route, the approximate timings of the peloton through Sheffield are:
The race is expected to enter Sheffield at Midhopestones on the A628/A616 at around 3.25pm and arrive in Oughtibridge at about 3.40pm. The riders should tackle the challenging climb at Jenkin Road in Wincobank by 4.05pm in the build up to the sprint finish near the Sheffield Motorpoint Arena at about 4.15pm (all these times are subject to variation).
A colourful parade of vehicles will precede the Peloton by about an hour and a half giving out souvenirs of the race.