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Tour de France second readiness report

22nd March 2014

Tour de France, Ripon

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd has produced its second 'readiness report' on preparations for the 2014 Tour de France. It will publish the third and final report in June, shortly before the race. The Chairman of the company, Sir Rodney Walker, says in the report's foreword that 'a significant amount of progress has been achieved since our first report in December 2013.' He adds, '...I am pleased to report that we remain on track to deliver an amazing start to the world's largest annual sporting event.'

TDF Hub 2014 Ltd is a not-for-profit company set up by UK Sport, to co-ordinate planning for the Tour de France 2014. 

TDF second readiness report: Tour maker recruitment

The second readiness report gives information about volunteer recruitment (the so-called 'Tour makers'). 12,000 people have applied, and 10,000 of them will be selected and notified by the end of March 2014. Training will take place in May and June.

TDF second readiness report: route preparations

Under the heading 'route preparations', TDF Hub 2014 Ltd reports that highways authorities are spending £4m on highway maintenance, to ensure the roads will be ready for the race. (Recent reports say that £1.2m is being spent in Harrogate alone). Traffic Regulations Orders are being finalised, to allow for road closures for the Tour de France. Local authorities have plans for informing businesses and communities about the road closures.

Tour de France roadworks, Blackstone Edge reservoir

TDF second readiness report: safety and security

Safety and security are being considered. Preparations include 'resilience tests' and 'live rehearsal exercises'. They are trying to predict spectator numbers and crowd movements, so far as possible. An intitial online survey of spectators' intentions (with 11,000 responses) suggests that the largest crowds will be at the start and finish of each stage. 

TDF second readiness report: budget and procurement

Budget and procurement are also dealt with. TDF Hub Ltd say they are moving into the 'operational phase' of the project, and some tenders have come in under budget, and others over budget. Where the costs are over budget, they are attempting 'value engineering', which means looking at ways of reducing requirements and therefore the costs.

The BBC reports that one tender which is over budget is the contract for traffic management (road closures), barriers, stewarding, radio communications, signage, temporary toilets, and First Aid. The best quality bid is from WRG, at £4.5m - £2.3 m more than budgeted. The reason why it is so much more expensive than anticipated is that the distances involved, and the requirement to transport resources around Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Rochdale, were not initially appreciated - as appears from a Leeds City Council report

Sir Rodney Walker of TDF Hub 2014 Ltd told the BBC that £4.5m is the worst-case scenario, and that they have already identified savings; and that the total funding of £27m for the Tour de France in the UK includes a £2m contingency. The Leeds City Council report suggests that a 20% reduction in the price is the best case scenario; and re-tendering is not a practical option.

TDF second readiness report: official spectator hubs

The readiness report says that the locations of the Grand Départ Spectator Hubs for Stages 1 and 2 will be announced shortly. The largest hub will have a capacity of 15,000. They will be family-friendly environments, with big screens, entertainment, and a range of attractions.