Published: June 23, 2008
'Park and ride' scheme confirmed for Burnham cycle race day

A free 'park and ride' scheme will be in operation in Burnham-On-Sea this September when the South West Stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race ends in the town, it was confirmed on Monday (June 23rd). first reported the plans to introduce a free parking scheme last month and this week it was confirmed that a deal has been reached with Sanders Garden Word at Brent Knoll.

The service will depart every 15 minutes from the garden centre to Pier Street between 10.00am and 5.30pm on the day of the big race - Tuesday 9th September.

Marine Drive will be closed to traffic from 5am to approximately 6.30pm and diversions will be in operation when the cycle race finishes there. A temporary one-way system for buses will allow them to run as normal.

Graham Bagley, Somerset County Council's Tour of Britain Project Manager, told "At least 96 international professional cyclists will speed through Somerset at speeds of up to 40mph on Tuesday 9th September and we need to make sure that the event is safe for competitors and spectators alike."

"We are working with colleagues from Highways and the Avon & Somerset Constabulary, as well as the local community, to minimise disruption to residents and businesses. Apart from the finishing strait on Marine Drive, a rolling road closure system means that the rest of the route should only be closed for around 30 minutes while the riders pass through."

Councillor Alvin Horsfall, Portfolio Holder for Economic Development, added: "We are very grateful to Sanders Garden World for their help in providing parking outside Burnham for visitors to help minimise traffic congestion on the day. I hope that as many residents as possible will also take the opportunity to cycle everywhere on the day, doing their bit to minimise traffic congestion and adding to the fantastic atmosphere that this world class event will create in the town."

The race will be broadcast on digital TV channel ITV4 and featured in the national press. The 185km South West Stage of the cycle race will be the longest in the whole race and will have a backdrop of stunning scenery as it takes riders past some of Somerset's hidden gems and idyllic Devon countryside.

Setting off from near Chard in the south of Somerset, the riders will pass through two Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the Exmoor National Park, and then on to the first ever coastal finish in Burnham. The finishing line will be in Burnham's Marine Drive.


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