Stone me! Councillor Martyn Bolt claims Kirklees Council camping restrictions could drive away Tour de France visitors

Council erects 'No Camping' signs and lines Holme Moss summit with boulders

 

A cycling councillor has condemned Kirklees Council for driving Tour de France tourists away from the iconic Holme Moss climb.

Yellow ‘No Camping’ signs have appeared around the summit along with rows of makeshift kerb stones and huge boulders.

The council wants to protect land and keep the winding roads clear for the riders but former Mayor of Kirklees Clr Martyn Bolt described the measures as “draconian.”

As well as discouraging visitors to Kirklees, Clr Bolt said the stones were a health and safety hazard.

“I think Kirklees has been very heavy-handed over this,” he said. “The signs send out completely the wrong message and anyone looking at where to go to watch the tour may decide to go somewhere else instead.

“Kirklees have had workmen putting down these huge blocks of stone and I hope they have carried out a risk assessment. What they have done is create a potential hazard.”

Mirfield Tory councillor Bolt, a keen cyclist, said there was a risk to cyclists – hundreds of visitors are expected to come on bikes – and other spectators.

“If a cyclist had a mishap, such as a puncture, they could always veer onto the verge and have a relatively soft landing.

“Now they could hit a nine or 10-inch tall boulder, buckle a wheel and go head over heels over the handlebars. Then you also have to consider people walking and those with mobility problems.”

Clr Bolt also questioned how much it had cost to put down the stone – and how much it would cost to remove it again.

“These are draconian preventative measures which penalise cyclists more than illegal campers,” he said.

Stones laid to prevent parking on roadside leading to Holme Moss.
Stones laid to prevent parking on roadside leading to Holme Moss.
 

The council did not address Clr Bolt’s concerns but issued a statement.

A spokesman said: “People are welcome to bring caravans and motorhomes to the event but we would ask that they follow the spectator guidelines and park only in designated car parks as they cannot be left at the roadside.

“This is to enable the safe running of the race, protect land owned by local people from damage and allow space for the large number of spectators who are expected to line the route at this iconic location.

“Verges between Holmfirth and Holmbridge are not generally wide enough to park a vehicle without obstructing the route and wider verges and the small number of lay-bys are to be used for essential race infrastructure.

“The council is currently in discussion with Yorkshire Water on the use of Holme Moss car park to host race essential infrastructure.

“Other areas on this part of the route are in the control of local landowners and their use and any charges will be at their own discretion.”

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