This summer’s Tour de France, which was brought to the Capital by the Mayor
of London and Transport for London, exceeded all expectations and gave cycling
and tourism a huge boost according to a new report.
The Tour de France’s legacy to the Capital was a 10.5 per cent increase in
the number of people cycling on London’s major roads in the six months from
April to September compared with the same period last year – with an estimated
48,000 more cycle journeys everyday. In a survey 50 per cent of spectators said
they would cycle more as a result of the Tour’s visit to London.
Tourism also received a huge boost with two million people lining the Capital’s
streets to see the weekend’s events. An additional one million people watched
the riders race through Kent. An estimated £88 million was spent by spectators,
teams and race organisers in London and the South East during the Tour de France
The Tour de France also gave London and cycling a huge media profile. London
was heralded as a great venue for world-class events in media around the world.
The Grand Départ generated an estimated value of £35 million in
media coverage for London and cycling.
It was also confirmed today that negotiations have begun with the Amaury Sport
Organisation, owners of the Tour de France, to bring the Tour de France back
to London ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012.
The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, said:
"Bringing the Tour de France to London has been hugely successful, boosting
cycling and showing Londoners’ huge interest in watching and participating in
sport that is growing as we approach the 2012 Games.
"As well as demonstrating that great sporting events can inspire people
to take up physical activity, the success of the Tour de France also shows the
economic benefits that these types of event can bring to London. The Tour has
generated well over £100 million in spending and publicity, which will
in turn attract more visitors and encourage the organisers of future sporting
events to choose London. Transport for London has already opened negotiations
to bring this great race back to London – I hope before 2012."
The new figures are contained in a report published today by Transport for
London, which reviews the success of the Tour de France against the Mayor and
Peter Hendy, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: "The Grand Départ
was an amazing weekend, the Tour organisers, media, riders and spectators said
it was the greatest start the Tour had ever had.
"The public transport network dealt with an unprecedented number of events
with the Wimbledon Tennis Finals, Live Earth, concerts at the O2 Centre and
Twickenham and of course the Tour de France. The Tube carried one million more
people on Saturday 7 July than a comparable weekend last year, with the most
passengers the network has ever carried on a Saturday."
"We are working to bring the Tour back to London as soon as possible."
Visit London Chief Executive, James Bidwell, said: "The Tour de France
weekend in London demonstrated why our capital is the number one city destination
in the world. Not only did we showcase our world-class capability in hosting
such major events, but also our willingness to welcome people, cultures and
traditions from across the planet. The sheer excitement of the Grand Départ
created an atmosphere which will never be forgotten by the millions of Londoners
and tourists who shared a truly unique experience.
We very much look forward to welcoming the Tour again in the very near future."
London Development Agency Chief Executive Manny Lewis said:
"The Grand Départ was a great sporting event and a great advert
I am delighted that our support helped the Tour come to London and provide such
a stunning spectacle for so many people to enjoy. The Grand Départ elevated
London’s global profile and proved – on the journey towards 2012 -that London
has the enthusiasm, skills and infrastructure to deliver world class events."