The 2014 Yorkshire start of the Tour de France was a once in a lifetime international event, televised around the globe. In contrast, the ‘Tour de Yorkshire’ will be a local event that would be worthy of council funding in less austere times. However, as York faces further unprecedented budget cuts to basic services, the minimum £250,000 cost is a luxury that should not be coming from council coffers. Having cut the costs from the £650,000 initial estimate, nearly half of the latest estimate – £100,000 – will now be simply handed over as a ‘hosting fee’ to Amaury Sport Organisation, on top of the half million pound fee paid last year.
As several local bus routes face being axed to save £212,000, the council plans to raid £100,000 of itravelyork government money (earmarked for promoting walking/ bus and cycle use) to take part in a low budget version of last year’s sporting event. If the council is serious about promoting cycling and bus use, there are more cost effective ways to spend precious public funds than events like ‘Tour de Yorkshire’.
Cllr Andy D’Agorne