Dumfries and Galloway Council is organising a fleet of buses to transport people to the opening stage finish of the Tour of Britain in Castle Douglas on Sunday 4 September. The buses, which are available to book immediately, will leave from more than ten towns and villages across Dumfries and Galloway on the morning of the 4 September.

The prices have been subsidised by the Council, to ensure that the Tour of Britain, the region’s biggest live sporting event this year, is accessible to all.

The Tour of Britain will visit Castle Douglas on the high profile first stage of the 2016 Tour, and more than 10,000 spectators are forecast to attend.

The Tour of Britain and the Council will organise a host of support events to the Tour, and the majority of traders on Castle Douglas’s King Street will be open on the day to cater for visitors and showcase the town. Castle Douglas holds a special place in Tour history as the smallest town to host a day one stage finish, and the only market town to be part of the blue riband cycling event for three separate Tours.

One hundred and twenty cyclists will participate in the 2016 Tour, representing 20 professional cycling teams, many of which will also be taking part in the world class Tours in France, Italy and Spain. The Glasgow to Castle Douglas Stage will be covered live on ITV4 and syndicated race coverage will be shown in more than 115 countries worldwide.

The subsidised buses can be booked by telephone via the Council’s main switchboard number – 0303 333 3000. The price is £3 return for adults and £2 return for all concessions. Children 5 and under can travel free.

Councillor Colin Smyth, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Events Champion said, “The Council really wants to celebrate the arrival of the Tour of Britain and promote cycling so I’m delighted to announce this initiative. The Tour of Britain is the UK’s biggest live sporting occasion and as a free to view event is open to everyone to take in and enjoy. Castle Douglas will be the place to be on Sunday 4 September and anyone who wants to attend the Tour of Britain will be able to do so via the transport the Council is providing at affordable prices.”

Michelle Robertson, Secretary for Castle Douglas Development Forum said, “Castle Douglas Development Forum is thrilled that the Tour of Britain, Stage 1 Finale is to visit Castle Douglas this year. We are hoping the King Street businesses embrace the opportunity for a Sunday opening, with so many visitors expected to the town on Sunday the 4th of September. The race will certainly show case King Street at its best, and in turn these visitors will hopefully come back to visit the town again. The CDDF have entertainment and local food stalls planned for The Market Hill and The Town Clock, it will certainly be a day to remember for locals and visitors alike.”

Paul Bush OBE, Director of Events at VisitScotland said: “EventScotland is proud to support major sporting fixtures all across the country. Scotland is the perfect stage for events and we are delighted that this initiative will enable more spectators to visit Castle Douglas and see the Tour of Britain in action.”

The buses will be available for people travelling from Lockerbie, Annan, Dumfries, Dalbeattie, The Glenkens, Kirkconnel, Sanquhar and Thornhill, Stranraer and Newton Stewart. The Council will assess demand and put on more buses if required.