6:05pm Tuesday 3rd June 2014
By Katie Smith
The route of the UK’s most prestigious cycle race - won last year by Sir Bradley Wiggins - has been altered due to a successful campaign spearheaded by Inspector Chris Chammings.
Riders were due to skirt around the edges of Bradford on Avon and Trowbridge as part The Tour of Britain on September 12, but they will now go through the centre of both towns.
The sixth stage, from Bath to Hemel Hempstead, will see the world’s elite cyclists race down Bradford’s Market Street, over Town Bridge, along Trowbridge Road, past County Hall in Trowbridge.
It will then pass through the centre of Devizes and Pewsey, before heading towards Hertfordshire.
Cycling enthusiast Insp Chammings said: “It was going to skirt around Bradford on Avon, now it is going through both towns I am in charge of. I am really pleased it is happening.
“I will be going on a test drive of the new route in a few weeks.”
The inspector joined Trowbridge Police Station in March and when he met the mayor of Bradford on Avon, fellow cycling enthusiast John Potter, they were soon discussing the race and the feasibility of it coming through the town.
They worked in partnership with Wiltshire Police, Wiltshire Council and Bradford on Avon Town Council and liaised with race organisers.
Insp Chammings said: “Bradford on Avon is such a classic town for it to go through. It has had a tough year. This is a time to celebrate.
“This race has some of the best riders in the world and it is televised in 106 countries across the world.
“Even if people aren’t interested in cycling I would encourage them to line the streets and watch. It is a colourful spectacle.
“The Tour of Britain brings in the road closures and the policing impact is minimal.”
Insp Chammings also said the Tour of Britain would send out school packages, advising them how they can get involved in the event.
Coun Jane Scott, leader of Wiltshire Council said: “I’m delighted Wiltshire is going to be part of one of the most exciting events in the cycling calendar.
“Having such a high profile event race through our streets is a huge boost for the county and also supports our own ongoing legacy work to bring communities together, boost the economy and encourage more people to be active.”
More than 100 top international cyclists, including the British national squad, will take part in the event, which attracts more than 1.5m spectators in total and runs from September 7 to 14.
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