Tour of Britain: Advice for spectators

WITH two Stages of The Tour of Britain in the South West on 17 and 18 September, Devon County Council is offering advice on how to make the most of the two days for anyone planning to watch the race.

WITH two Stages of The Tour of Britain in the South West on 17 and 18 September, Devon County Council is offering advice on how to make the most of the two days for anyone planning to watch the race.

Covering 346km of Devon and Somerset over the two stages, which are being hosted by Devon and Somerset County Councils, there are plenty of good vantage points for spectators to see the action up close.

Some of the most exciting racing will be found during the King of the Mountain and Sprint sections of the race. Stage Six, which stretches from Frome to Bideford, has a sprint at Bridgwater, followed by two King of the Mountains climbs at Enmore and Dulverton. But across the entire routes of both stages, spectators will be spoilt for choice of great locations to view the race. Stage Six also includes Bampton town centre, Challacombe on Exmoor, Bratton Fleming, Barnstaple town centre, Instow and East-the-Water as well as the excitement of the finish at Bideford Quay.

Stage Seven, from Hatherleigh to Yeovil, has sprints outside Queen Elizabeth's Community College at Crediton and Blundell's School in Tiverton. Thrown in for good measure are three King of The Mountain climbs at Cadbury Hill, Trow Hill near Sidford, and in Somerset at East Chinnock. Other excellent spectator viewing spots during this stage are Okehampton town centre, Bow, Crediton High Street, Bickleigh bridge, Tiverton town centre, Willand, Honiton High Street, Sidbury, Sidford, Seaton, and Axminster High Street.

To limit disruption to businesses and residents, road closures along the route will only be in effect for a limited period to allow the race and race vehicles to travel through towns and villages safely and to allow residents, businesses and visitors ample opportunity to see the event safely. Where possible, vehicle diversions will be put in place.


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In Barnstaple, riders will go through Goodleigh Road and Bear Street, turning right onto the Inner Relief Road to Mermaid Cross, then North Walk to Castle Street and on to The Strand. The Strand will be shut to all traffic from 10am and will provide one of the best spots to view the race in the town.

The race will then move onto Barnstaple Longbridge, Station Road, past Barnstaple Railway Station, and will pass under the new Western Bypass and up Sticklepath Hill, before heading out onto Bickington Road.

A number of roads will be shut from 1pm, prior to the race passing through. These are: Bear Street (from its junction with Bicton Street), the Inner Relief Road, North Walk (below Library junction), Castle Street, Barnstaple Longbridge (buses will be allowed to run until 1:30pm), Derby Road (from the Bicton Street junction), Boutport Street (from Queen Street to The Square), Belle Meadow Road (from below car park), The Square and Alexandra Road (shut to inbound traffic from 1pm from the TA roundabout to the Bear Street junction).

A number of additional roads will be closed at 1.30pm. These are: Mermaid Cross, North Walk (Mermaid Cross to Library junction), Barnstaple Longbridge to Station Road, Station Road, Railway Station to Sticklepath Hill bus link, Sticklepath Hill (from the Lake roundabout to A3125 junction), Rolle Street, Pilton Causeway, Belle Meadow Road (from the bus station to the car park) and the A3125 (from the Barnstaple Western Bypass to Halford's roundabout).

For businesses located within the Seven Brethren Estate, both Station Road and the road from Barnstaple Longbridge to the new Western Bypass roundabout will be closed between the hours of 1.30pm - 3.30pm on Thursday 17 September to allow for the race to pass through safely.

Car parks at Belle Meadow Road, the Cattle Market and Library will be closed to exiting vehicles from 1:30pm until The Tour has passed through. The Green Lanes multi-storey car park will remain open.


For anyone wanting to see the Stage Six finish at Bideford Quay at around 3pm, arrive in plenty of time. Spectators are advised to use a FREE park and ride service that will run every 15 minutes between The Big Sheep at Abbotsham and Pill Road car park near Bideford Quay. It will operate from 10am to 6pm and provides parking for 1,000 vehicles.

The race will finish at approximately 3pm on the Quay in Bideford. The Quay will be closed to vehicle access from 5am - 7pm on the day of the race (Thursday 17 September). The Quay car park will be closed from 6pm on Wednesday 16 September and all day on Thursday 17 September. Alternative parking will be clearly signed on the day. Pill Road car park and most of Riverbank car park will also be closed all day. Manor car park will be restricted, especially from 2pm-5pm. There will be no on-street parking on The Quay and in New Road, and the Taxi rank will be relocated from The Quay to New Road for the day.

The recommended signposted HGV route to Torrington is via the A386 through Bideford, which goes along the Quay. On Thursday 17th, whilst the Quay will be closed to all vehicles, HGV's will be directed towards Barnstaple, and onto the B3232 via Newton Tracey to Torrington. This road is not subject to any HGV restrictions but drivers should be aware that there are a number of pinch points along this road.


Extensive parking will be available in Hatherleigh Market Car Park, at a charge of �1. The car park can be accessed from the north-bound A386, not via Bridge Road which will be closed from 5am to 1pm. Overflow parking facilities will be available nearby.

Residents affected by the race route will be informed if they need to move their vehicle from the road the night before and will be advised on alternative parking. People are asked to park away from the route between 8.30am and 10.45am to allow access for The Tour cyclists and race vehicles. No parking will be allowed in Bridge Street or by the sheep sculpture from the evening of Thursday 17 September to enable the race to set up the following morning.

The riders will set off from the sheep sculpture and will travel in procession along Bridge Street towards Okehampton. They will start racing just before Folly Gate at the junction of the A3072.


The race is due to reach Tiverton at an estimated time of 11.47am, with lead cars arriving ahead of them at 11.32am. There is ample parking in the multi-storey car park in Tiverton which is accessed off Phoenix Lane.

As the race enters along Exeter Road there are excellent vantage points to watch the race as it sweeps into the town. West Exe South has plenty of space and the riders will have to slow down to make the turn up into Bridge Street, before heading to Fore Street and Gold Street and out via Station Road and Great Western Way.

The race leaves the town along Blundell's Road which is another excellent location to watch the race as there is a sprint which finishes near Blundell's School at an estimated time of around 11.52am.


There will be parking restrictions through the village of Sidbury and residents will not be permitted to park on the road during the race. The A3052 at Sidford Cross will be closed from 12:30pm, as the riders pass through Sidford before heading for the King of the Mountains climb which starts at the Blue Ball public house. Stephens Cross, near the Blue Ball, will be closed from 12:30pm until just after 13:05pm.


Stage 6 Frome to Bideford -

The lead cars will enter Devon at around 12:40pm.

Petton - 12:43

Shillingford - 12:48

Bampton - 12:52

Oakford Bridge - 12:59

Exebridge - 13:03

Eastcombe - 13:04

(Back into Somerset via Dulverton then into Devon) Challacombe - 13:57 Bratton Fleming - 14:10 Snapper - 14:21 Barnstaple - 14:24 Bickington - 14:35 Fremington - 14:38 Yelland - 14:42 Instow - 14:44 Bideford (FINISH) - 14:53

Stage 7 Hatherleigh to Yeovil -

Hatherleigh (START) - 10:15

Okehampton - 10:20

Bow - 10:45

Copplestone - 10:53

Crediton - 11:02

Cadbury - 11:19

Tiverton - 11:32

Halberton - 11:43

Willand - 11:47

Dulford - 12:01

Colliton - 12:05

Awliscombe - 12:13

Honiton - 12:17

Sidbury - 12:32

Sidford - 12:35

Seaton - 12:52

Axmouth - 12:58

Musbury - 13:05

Axminster - 13:10

Tytherleigh - 13:21

(The Tour then crosses the border into Somerset)



Stage 6 - From to Bideford

Bampton12.45 to 13.20

Barnstaple (Various)10.00 to 16.00

13.00 to 15.00

13.30 to 15.30

Bideford (Various)05.00 to 19.00

13.30 to 16.00

14.00 to 16.00


Stage 7 - Hatherleigh to Yeovil

Hatherleigh (Various)04.30 to 13.00

08.00 to 12.00

09.30 to 10.30

Okehampton10.00 to 10.45

Bow10.40 to 11.10

Crediton10.50 to 11.30

Tiverton11.20 to 12.10

Willand11.45 to 12.15

Honiton11.50 to 12.50

Sidbury to Sidford Cross12.15 to 12.45

Sidford Cross12.45 to 13.00

Seaton12.50 to 13.30

Axminster13.00 to 13.50

For more information about the South West stages of The Tour of Britain visit: