With just seven weeks to go until the Tour de France arrives in Leeds for the Grand Départ, East Midlands Trains has announced plans for spectators attending the World’s Biggest Annual Sporting Event.
Over 1,000 extra seats will be available on East Midlands Trains’ services over Friday 4th, Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th July. As well as providing more carriages on a number of services and trains calling additionally at key stations, there will be two additional special services. On Saturday 5th July, there will be an extra service from Derby to Sheffield at 05.25 for passengers to connect in with services to Leeds. On Sunday 6th July, a special eight-carriage direct service will run between Sheffield and Cambridge at 18.58, providing almost 500 extra seats for passengers wanting to join Stage 3 of the race.
Jayne Moyses, Head of Sales & Customer Service Centre for East Midlands Trains, said: “It’s a very exciting time for everyone involved. This will be the first time Le Tour has ever visited the north of England and we want to ensure that as many people as possible can get to the event by train.
“We’ll be providing more than 1,000 extra seats over the three days and will be running a special additional service from Sheffield direct to Cambridge to allow people to join Stage 3 of the race. We are expecting services to be busy, so we’d advise people to check train times, book in advance, and use the special train services wherever possible.”
The first stage of the Tour de France will start in Leeds and end in Harrogate on 5th July. The second stage will then begin in York and end in Sheffield on 6th July, and head south for a stage on 7th July which begins in Cambridge and ends in London.
East Midlands Trains’ service enhancements for the Tour de France are as follows:
Friday 4 July
· The 18.25 from St Pancras to Sheffield will be extended through to Leeds.
Saturday 5 July
· Extra seats will be available on the 05.45 from London St Pancras to Sheffield
· An additional train will run from Derby to Sheffield at 05.25.
Sunday 6 July
· The 17.50 from York to St Pancras will call additionally at Meadowhall station.
· Extra seats will be available on the 17.50 from Sheffield to St Pancras.
· An additional eight carriage train will run from Sheffield to Cambridge at 18.58 providing an opportunity for people to travel to Cambridge in time for the start of Stage 3.
Between 5-7 July, normal cycle carriage policies will apply for all train operators but passengers are being advised to avoid taking bikes on trains as high demand may mean longer waits for passengers with bikes as spaces are limited. Cycle spaces can be reserved in advance at eastmidlandstrains.co.uk. Folding cycles can be carried on all East Midlands Trains’ services provided they can be stored safely in the luggage racks. Secure cycle parking is available at the vast majority of East Midlands Trains’ stations. During the race, there will also be extra staff on hand at Sheffield station to help passengers and there will also be additional cycle storage available at this station at the new state-of-the-art cycle hub.
Mrs Moyses continues: “We’ve got thousands of secure cycle spaces across our route where people can safely store their bikes. Our new state-of-the-art cycle hub at Sheffield will be open in time for the start of the Tour de France, and coupled with the additional temporary spaces at the station, this will provide more than 600 extra secure cycle storage spaces.
“As services are expected to be busy, we’d ask cyclists to take a sensible approach and avoid bringing a bike on any train that might be busier than normal because of the Tour de France, but if it’s unavoidable, they should book their cycle space in advance and allow extra time to make their journey.”