Published On: Sun, Dec 14th, 2014 on 12:01 am

10 things you probably didn’t know about de Tour in Yorkshire

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The Tour de France event earned worldwide admiration for its recent success, with Tour director Christian Prudhomme describing it as “the grandest Grand Départ” in the 111-year history of the race.

It began on 5 July in Leeds with the first of a two-day Grand Depart in Yorkshire followed by a third stage in Cambridgeshire, Essex and London.

Here are 10 things you probably didn’t know about the Tour in Yorkshire.

Tour De France Yorkshire

10. Yorkshire trended on Twitter

During the Grand Depart weekend, the words and terms ‘Yorkshire’, ‘Yorkshire Grand Départ’ and ‘#letouryorkshire’ all trended on Twitter.

The official @letouryorkshire Twitter account also gained 55,000 followers, and grew at around 2,000 new followers a week.

9. Over 2 million people watched the race in Yorkshire

Over the course of the three days the race was watched at the roadside by a total of 4.8 million people.

When taking into account spectators watching at more than one location and at multiple stages, it was estimated that it was seen by 3.5 million individuals. 2.3 million were watching in Yorkshire.

8. Majority of locals who travelled to the event walked

According to the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority, 33% of people who travelled to the event in Yorkshire walked. This was the most popular mode of travel.

28% travelled by car, motorcycle or taxi, 17% took the train, 13% cycled and 9% took the bus or coach.

Yellow Tour Statue Leeds

7. Parliament approved amendment of traffic legislation

Parliament approved amendment of traffic legislation to help co-ordinate planning and delivery of the first two stages in Yorkshire.

19 separate authorities co-ordinated traffic regulations across 300 miles of route to allow the Tour to pass.

Special air traffic control arrangements were implemented, whilst staff on the ground deployed around 30,000 traffic cones, 5,000 special road signs and 100 kilometres of barriers.

6. 66% of visitors outside Yorkshire said they would be back

Of the million Stage 1 and 2 spectators from outside Yorkshire, 75% strongly agreed they would be more likely to recommend Yorkshire to friends and family.

Of the same group, 72% said their image of Yorkshire had been enhanced and 66% said they would be more likely to visit Yorkshire for a short break or holiday.

Tour De France Jerseys

5. 44% did come back in less than three months

A follow-up spectator survey suggested that 44% of spectators from outside Yorkshire who visited to watch Stages 1 or 2 visited Yorkshire again.

40% of non-residents who watched Stage 3 visited Cambridge, Essex and/or London again.

4. The Tour brought in over £100 million to the local economy

The Tour generated over £128 million of economic benefits for the host areas overall, with £102 million for Yorkshire and £30 million for Cambridgeshire, Essex and London.

3. A brewery landed a Guinness World Record

Many Yorkshire businesses celebrated the Tour’s arrival in Yorkshire.

Stod Fold Brewing Company based in Halifax entered the Guinness Book of Records for the largest glass of beer. It was filled with 3,664 pints of Stod Fold’s Gold Ale.

2. A cycle store moved onto the main Tour road, by chance

Ilkley Cycles signed a lease on a new property two days before it was revealed that the route would go past the front door.

The store received lots of press coverage and increased sales. Free bike maintenance classes and a monthly social evening with a guest speaker were also set up.

1. A-level students gave visitor centre staff French lessons

To help French visitors, A-level students from a local high school taught French to staff at Hebden Bridge Visitor Centre in return for work experience.

The centre attracted large numbers of people during the race and saw a significant increase in sales of merchandise over the Grand Depart weekend.

In a survey, 100% of visitors said ‘yes’ when asked if they thought they would visit the area again for a holiday or day trip.

Images courtesy: Leeds City Council (first image). Additional images taken by the Yorkshire Standard and can be bought here.

Sources: The ‘Three Inspirational Days’ report, Leeds City Council, Transport for London, UK Sport, TdFHUB2014 Ltd, and the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority.

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