‘By eck lad, it’s steep’ will be the typically Sheffield welcome for visiting cyclists under a new scheme to celebrate the city’s Tour de France legacy.
Graffiti that was painted on to the city’s roads for the famous bike race last year will now become a permanent feature on four King of The Mountain hill climbs in the city at Bradfield, Midhopestones, Oughtibridge and Wincobank.
Coun Leigh Bramall, Sheffield Council deputy leader and cabinet member for development, said: “The idea is we build on the road cycling interest we’ve got and also help with the work we are doing to rebrand Sheffield as the best outdoor recreation city.”
The scheme celebrates the world-famous bike race visiting Sheffield on Sunday, July 6, last year, when the second stage finished in Attercliffe.
The beginning and end of the stage’s route through Sheffield – which attracted 380,000 spectators and £11 million in economic benefit – will also have stone markers installed.
It is hoped the scheme, thought to be the first of its kind, will become a major tourist attraction encouraging people to visit Sheffield and ride the 22-mile-long route.
Other phrases set to be painted on the climbs include ‘get them knees up’ ‘ou’tou’bridge’ and ‘last chance kid.’ For the Tour, residents also painted ‘it’s only pain’ and famously ‘Ey up, TdF’ on the roads.
The first slogan, Allez Wincobank, was painted at the bottom of the notorious Jenkin Road climb today in preparation for a hill challenge bike ride there this weekend.
Council staff drove through Sheffield to pick out the phrases with the most distinctive Sheffield themes.
Diane Buckley, Creative Sheffield economic strategy manager, said: “It’s what the Sheffield people wrote about the Tour and we are putting them back on the road.
“That’s great because it is not what we’ve decided, it’s what was already there.”
A marker, made from Sheffield gritstone and containing a cycling jersey shaped yellow plaque, was installed in Attercliffe this morning.
The spot, at the junction of Broughton Lane, was where elite cyclists raced past to the finish line, while nearby Broughton roundabout has also been planted with yellow wildflowers in recognition of the yellow jersey the race leader wears.
Coun Bramall said: “Hopefully in 20 years the city will be known as a fantastic city that’s got lots to offer recreationally and it will make people want to come here.
“You generally go to cities for a few different things, they aren’t really niche. People go to Manchester or Leeds because they are busy cities.
“We’ve got the opportunity to have a vibrant city, but also have something different which is an attraction.”
“It is a fantastic news story for Sheffield.”
A three-week public consultation will now take place on the road graffiti plans.
In total, the iniative is to cost £15,000, using local transport funding set aside for sthe Tour de France, and council contractor Amey is sponsoring the project as well as being responsible for maintenance.
It is expected that the scheme will be completed by August or September.