POOL-IN-WHARFEDALE has confirmed full details of how it plans to ensure residents and visitors fully enjoy the Tour de France.

Riders on the first stage of Le Grand Depart will come through the village on Saturday, July 5 and the Parish Council has been working hard with Leeds City Council on the arrangements.

As reported in last week's Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer, 20 double-sided large lamppost banners designed by local artists and schoolchildren are now in place to welcome the riders.

Colourful bicycles bearing flower covered baskets have also been positioned on the roadside verges and bunting has gone up in anticipation of an event expected to draw some 6,000 people to the village.

Parish Councillor Richard Parker, who has been helping co-ordinate the details, said: "With so many visitors and villagers expected, account has been taken of the need to provide extended First Aid cover and a large number of portable toilets.

"The A659, Arthington Lane, the principal route between Harewood, Otley and the Dales, will be closed to vehicles from 5am until about 3pm. The A658, Main Street, will also be closed to traffic for the same period.

"To ensure public safety and smooth passage of the caravan and cyclists there will be barriers and marshalls along the majority of the route, and to enable reasonable movement of spectators there will be marshalled pedestrian crossing points through Pool.

"The Tour's 'caravan' will arrive in Pool at 10.07am and slowly make its passage through the village, distributing goodies to the spectators.

"The peloton riders, meanwhile, after speeding through Arthington, are expected to arrive in Pool at 12.06pm.

"The aim in Pool is to attract people to the village centre to watch the continuation of the race on a 16 sq metre outdoor screen, and provide food and entertainment.

"On the sports field behind the Village Hall we will be providing free fun activities for children including paintballing, an assault course, climbing wall, archery, golf, garden games and table tennis.

"There will also be a funfair featuring giant inflatable balls, bungee trampolining, cups and saucers and train rides."

Gourmet food stalls, selling everything from traditional hog roast and burgers to paella and vegetarian dishes, will also be set up beside the attractions, running from 8am. Cold snacks, coffee and homemade cakes will be on offer,


Spectators can take some 'time out' inside the Village Hall, where the Pool Feast Committee is providing a rest facility where tea, coffee and juice will be served.

Pool Sports and Social Club is also expecting a busy time, and will be open from 10.30am.

Other events on the day will include:

*The White Hart offering a champagne breakfast from 9am to 11am, along with an all day barbecue

*St Wilfrid's Church providing cold drinks, while the Methodist Chapel hosts a Tour exhibition and rest area, with breakfast from 7.30am and a barbecue lunch

*Pool Post Office and the Half Moon Inn running a barbecue outside the Post Office, with the Half Moon also providing a select lunch menu and evening entertainment from acoustic duot TownStreet Sea Monster.

A tea-time family picnic, open to residents, is also being staged on the Cricket Field and will be accompanied by music.

Visitor car parks, charged at £5 per space, will be available north of the River Wharfe at the Arthington Show Field, which can be accessed from the Harrogate area via the A658.

A second car park will be available south of the river at the bottom of Old Pool Bank, via restricted access from the Dyneley Arms traffic lights - both car parks will be accessible during the road closure period.