An amazing atmosphere for the Tour

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From: Lis Kirkness, Kenton Drive, Shrewsbury.

MY husband and I are great cycling fans, having seen the Tour de France in Ireland and various parts of France such as the Pyrenees. We visited Yorkshire last weekend and saw it in Leeds, Harrogate and York. The organisation was superb, it seemed that everyone had been preparing for this ever since Yorkshire won the bid two years ago.

The Yorkshire in Yellow – shop windows, houses, flags, knitted bunting, painted sheep, yellow bikes – was absolutely brilliant. The Tour Makers were everywhere in their yellow T-shirts, helping, guiding, and the yellow trains and extra train employees in yellow – everything had been thought of, and even having to queue for trains outside Harrogate station was fine, with lots of helpers making sure everyone was in the right queue, then getting to the correct platform etc.

We watched the Tour surrounded by people from Scotland, Italy, Spain, France, Wales, Liverpool, and everyone said it was the best experience ever. My husband follows some of the cyclists on Twitter and they were saying they were covered in goosebumps from the amazing atmosphere, and almost deafened by the cheering crowds!

I know it must have caused some inconvenience to local people, but from a visitor’s point of view I can only say “Well done Yorkshire!”. Friends and neighbours here in Shropshire, many of whom have never visited Yorkshire, were amazed at the beautiful scenery they saw on TV coverage – “Les Chutes d’Aysgarth”, “L’Abbaye de Bolton” etc. I think your tourism figures will increase dramatically.

Ee By Gum and Ooh La La – thank you Yorkshire for the best Tour de France ever.

From: Ken Greene, Finch Park, Beverley, East Yorkshire,

I AGREE with Tom Richmond that we need to up our game after the Tour de France (The Yorkshire Post, July 12). What about a cycling event that covers the whole of the UK which though mainly in England should also include Wales, Northern Ireland and, if they are still with us, Scotland so bringing together all parts of the UK? Such an event could do a lot to draw our country together by encouraging local authorities, public and voluntary organisations to work together and give public transport an opportunity to redeem themselves.

From: Peter Broadley, Moorbottom Lane, Greetland.

LIKE others, I could join in the criticism of the ITV coverage of the Tour de France, but we must not be too parochial. After all, many town names are pronounced locally far from the spelling (Sowerby Bridge and Slaithwaite spring to mind). I feel the coverage was spoilt by the long advertising breaks, amounting to some one sixth of the air-time and was particularly galling for people in Greetland and West Vale who did not have benefits of the area advertised to the world – even including female bare-knuckle fighting!

One of the most memorable moments for me was in fact in the early part of the Sunday morning, just after eight, when I was clearing up one of the roadside verges and the silence of the lack of motor vehicles struck me. It brought to mind a school hymn we were forced to sing Dear Lord and Father of Mankind and the reports of the First World War Christmas ceasefires – the final line of the hymn “O still small voice of calm”. Maybe we could do with a little “calm”.

From: Colin Foster, Scalby Beck Road, Scarborough.

THERE is much criticism (The Yorkshire Post, July 12) about the poor performance of Northern Rail in coping with the crowds of extra passengers for the Tour de France cycle race.

I suggest this is more an indictment of our dysfunctional rail system. Our train services may be run by private companies, but they seem to be largely influenced by the Department for Transport and ultimately, one suspects, the Treasury. We do not know what constraints may have faced Northern Rail if they applied for extra rolling stock or train paths to carry a sharp short increase in passengers.

I doubt that such a poor performance would have been given by the dear departed British Rail in the days of our unified national system.

Despite its faults, the railway then was run by professional railwaymen with a strong sense of public service.

They would have known how to augment train formations and time.

From: ME Wright, Grove Road, Harrogate.

THE daily-commuting sardines will be disputing Paul Nightingale’s “rural branch line” description of the York/Harrogate/Leeds service (The Yorkshire Post, July 12).

Even if there were routine free bottles of water, they are hardly a substitute for a properly funded, 21st century, public service. I share his praise for the staff whose usual patience and good humour has, against all odds, prevailed for decades.

From: Matthew Shaw, Golcar, Huddersfield.

ALONG with the many thousands of cyclists and walkers, I had the pleasure of watching the cycle race on the high slopes of Holme Moss.

A truly memorable experience as Yorkshire and its people welcomed the world’s greatest sporting event.

Afterwards, I was heartened by the absence of litter. Compared to a football match or pop concert, cycling clearly attracts a better class of people.