Council rules out hosting Tour of Britain 2021 in Crewe on cost grounds

  Posted: 15.09.20 at 12:32 by The Editor

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CREWE Town Council has ruled out hosting a stage of the Tour of Britain 2021.

The authority was offered the opportunity to take part in the UK’s prestigious cycling event - which was cancelled this year - but decided that the extra costs would likely escalate.

The Tour normally attracts 1.5 million spectators to the roadside and this year’s event should have been staged last week. It was shelved back in May because of the pandemic.

Next year’s Tour is scheduled for September 5 to 12 and will take a route from Penzance to Aberdeen in eight stages with Warrington already earmarked for a stage.

When cancelling this year the Tour’s organisers recognised the financial pressures that their local authority partners were under, a situation which is unlikely to change next year.

Cheshire East Council tourism chiefs offered hosting rights to borough towns at a cost of £75,000.

'Better ways to support cycling': Cllr Cosby

But Crewe Town Council Clerk Pete Turner says costs would soar beyond that once safety measures and highways issues were put in place.

“When paying for the rights that is fine but there are lot of other ancillary aspects to put such an event like this on, such as crowd safety, barriers, engagement, highways issues and security," said the town clerk.

“I would expect the cost to escalate hugely and I would not know what the legacy value would be of that. I am not confident recommending we absorb this (the cost) at all."

Cllr Joe Cosby said: “It is a good opportunity but it comes with a very high cost to the council to host and I don’t believe we should pursue this and take up officers’ time planning.

"There are many better ways of supporting a cycling event such as investing in green travel, educating children to consider cycling and working with Active Crewe Travel.”

Cllr Dennis Straine-Francis added: “It would be absolutely fantastic as it is a big occasion but I don’t think we can afford it. To me I don’t think we could get the money back in any way.”

Councillors voted against taking up the Tour of Britain offer at last week’s marketing and events committee.

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