Final plans have been released for Saturday September 13 when the prestigious Tour of Britain winds its way through Horsham district and the town centre.
The Tour of Britain cycle race takes place across the country from September 7 – 14. Stage 7 of the race will be coming through the Horsham district, including Horsham town centre, for the first time.
Stage 7 is the penultimate and longest stage of the 2014 Tour of Britain. It starts in Camberley at 10am and travels through Surrey, West and East Sussex before finally finishing 140 miles later in Brighton at around 3.35pm.
During this stage the route will travel through the Horsham district, entering from the West on the A29 between Wisborough Green and Billingshurst and leaving the district at Handcross in the East.
Times have been provided for when the cyclists and support teams arrive in sections of the district. However, these times are estimated and the routes may be subject to change. Delays are expected in the areas the Tour is passing through, but these should not last longer than 10-15 minutes.
Wisborough Green - A29 - 11:35 (lead vehicles arrive) - 11:50 (cyclists arrive)
Five Oaks - A29 – A264 - 11:46 - 12:01
Horsham - A281 - 11:57 - 12:12
Bucks Head, Hammerpond Road - 12:03 - 12:18
Handcross - B2110 - 12:14 - 12:29
There will be rolling road closures, led by the police. This may mean that at any point along the route the road may be closed for up to 30 minutes as the cyclists pass. The road will then be immediately re-opened by the police.
There will be no more than 120 race cyclists. There will also be 60 police and safety motorcycle riders plus 10-15 lead vehicles (race officials, sponsors cars and camera crews) and team support vehicles leading and following the cyclists.
The current estimated average speed of the tour rolling road block will be around 42km/h, so it is likely to pass through communities at similar speeds to normal traffic.
It is expected that the Horsham section of the stage will take place between 11.50am and 12.29pm. Because of this, Albion Way will be closed for approximately 1.5 hours for community safety and traffic management purposes.
With the Tour poised to pass through over lunchtime, Horsham’s Saturday markets are preparing for an expanded range of street food on the day. Entertainments are planned for the morning and a small food court is being prepared for the Bishopric with additional sheltered outdoor seating and a big screen TV on which to follow the race live through the afternoon.
Horsham District Council is urging town customers and race viewers to arrive well before 11am to ensure they are not disappointed. All race road closures are planned to be lifted by approximately 12.30pm
A public viewing gallery will be formed by the closure of the West bound carriageway of Albion Way between Swan Walk Car park roundabout and Bishopric lights between around 11.30am and 12.30pm.
Access to the gallery will be via the pedestrianised town centre, West Street and through Springfield Road. All spectators are being asked to remain within the gallery area and/or on surrounding pedestrian pavements during the passage of the race in order to avoid potential for accidents.
Closed roads are not to be crossed unless under the supervision of event marshals in yellow jackets.
The West Sussex County Council North forecourt and car park, accessed from Chart Way and Madeira Avenue (Albion Way), is being set up to provide facilities for visiting cyclists to stop and view the passing Tour before possibly riding on to catch the Ditchling Beacon hill climb section. Additional barriers are being set up there in the Upper Car Park for the chaining up of bikes.
A number of organisations will be present to offer services and entertainments for cyclists. The Café at County Hall North will be open for visitors on the day.
Local Samba Band, Bloco do Sul and Horsham Boom Tribes will be performing at vantage points throughout the morning in advance of the arrival of the Tour. In addition there will be local bands performing on the Carfax Bandstand from 11am and again at 2pm.
Anyone interested in cycling history can visit Horsham Museum and Art Gallery in The Causeway which houses a display of collections of early cycles.
A big screen TV is planned for the Bishopric with sheltered seating for anyone wanting to follow the race live as it leaves Horsham and progresses to its Stage finish in Brighton.
Horsham’s brand new SmartPark service will be in operation in Swan Walk car park offering access to the town with multiple ticketless payment options. The town centre Forum multi-storey, Sainsbury’s and Hop Oast Park and ride parking facilities will remain accessible throughout the day.
Access to and from Swan Walk, Piries Place and Denne Road will be restricted between approx. 11.30am and 12.30pm.
Race visitors are recommended to arrive to park well before 11am.
Visitors are being asked to refrain from casual on-street parking within the town and along the route through Horsham District that may cause a hazard to the passage of the race, pedestrians and other road users.
West Sussex County Times photographers and reporters will be out in force on the day, bringing you reports and photos throughout the day on our website and via Facebook and Twitter.
We will also be publishing comprehensive coverage of the event in the County Times the following Thursday.
If you are planning to watch the race, send us your photos, comments, video.
For details of the Tour of Britain 2014 see their website www.tourofbritain.co.uk/home.php#.U_cNP8VdUy4