The largest annual sporting event in the world, the Tour de France, will attract over 12 million spectators along its route, and this year’s renewal will see it return to the UK. Although this is great news for the economy, with visitors expected from all over the world, it will cause major travel disruption and so a protocol has been put in place to ensure that veterinarians will be able to travel to emergency cases with minimal interference.

The Tour will start its three day visit to Britain on Saturday 5 July, with riders set to travel 120 miles from Leeds to Harrogate via the Yorkshire Dales National Park. On Sunday 6 July the planned route will be York to Sheffield, with riders then travelling to Cambridge for the start of day three. The third day will see them enter London via Epping Forest, with the stage set to finish along The Mall.

A number of road closures will be in put in place during this time, with many roads closed for up to eight hours. There is also expected to be an increased volume of traffic on motorways and major routes.

The Tour organisers have the released a Factsheet for all those affected, which can be viewed here.

There will be three local control rooms managing the event within North Yorkshire (Skipton for Craven District, Richmond for Richmondshire district and Harrogate for Harrogate Borough). It is intended that the contact number for each control room will be provided to all vets in North Yorkshire. In the event of an emergency the practice would need to call the number and the local control room would manage access onto the closed road. Access will only be available for emergencies and not for routine appointments and it should also be noted that whilst access to the closed roads will be granted, high volumes of traffic elsewhere may prevent vets being able to get to the route crossing and so vets might wish to make temporary local arrangements between practices on either side of the route.

BEVA has been provided with the following list of contact details and would encourage veterinary practices within the affected areas to make sure they circulate this among their staff. Click here to view the full list for the Yorkshire region.