Progress on talks to bring Tour back to London
The bosses of the Tour de France were in London today for more talks about the return of the event.
The Tour de France Grand Depart won an award only last week for the increase in cycling it triggered in the capital – with bike journeys up 10 per cent in six months.
Today London mayor Ken Livingstone welcomed organisers of the event at City Hall, and was expected to reveal progress on bringing the Tour back before the 2012 London Olympics.
Last summer’s event brought in £88million from tourism over the three days of the Grand Depart and Prologue, which saw three million people descend on the capital and the Kent countryside.
Negotiations began last year 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.
Mr Livingstone has set his sights on turning London into a cycling city, with a goal of an 80 per cent increase by 2010. In the last seven years there has been an 83 per cent increase in cycling, but still only a tiny minority travel by bike, so the latest figures are good news for the mayor’s office.
In a survey during the Grand Depart 50 per cent of spectators said they would cycle more as a result of the Tour’s visit to London.
Check back later with BikeRadar.com for a full report of this morning’s events.