£4million bill to fix Yorkshire’s roads ahead of Tour de France

Potholed and poorly surfaced roads in dire need of attention before the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire

A total of £4million has been allocated by eight Yorkshire councils to get the region’s roads repaired and ready for the Tour de France in July.

The money will be spent to ensure that the 389 kilometres of tarmac to be used for the 2014 Tour’s Grand Depart in the summer will be up to scratch, the BBC reports.

However, the road repair funds will have to come from councils’ existing budgets as no extra money has been forthcoming from central government to assist in the repairs.

Outside of the roads being used for the Tour, it is estimated that £1billion is needed to repair Yorkshire’s roads as a whole and a recent Asphalt Industry Alliance’s Annual Local Authority Road Maintenance (Alarm) survey concluded that £10.5billion is currently required to fix all damaged roads in England and Wales.

North Yorkshire Council has asked the government for £5million to help with its £322million backlog of repairs, according to the Harrogate Advertiser.

“Insufficient funding for highway maintenance is not a problem unique to North Yorkshire, but I believe we feel the pain particularly badly,” said North Yorkshire County Council leader John Weighell.

“North Yorkshire is the biggest local authority in England by area and has the third largest road network. The topography of North Yorkshire means we are vulnerable to extreme weather.”

The 2014 Tour de France starts in Leeds on Saturday July 5, with the opening stage finishing in Harrogate. The following day, stage two will take the riders from York to Sheffield. Then the race travels south for stage three on Monday July 7, starting in Cambridge and finishing in London before returning to France.

Tour de France 2014 stage one route in pictures

A pictorial preview of the route of the opening stage of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire