Reaction from the regions to the postponement of the 2020 Tour of Britain,  Following last week’s announcement that the planned route for the Tour of Britain would now take place in September 2021, politicians from the host venues that had already been announced as hosts – Cornwall, Devon, Warrington, Cumbria, Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire – have shared their thoughts on the news, and looked ahead to 2021.

Cllr Tim Dwelly, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for culture, economy and planning

“While it is disappointing to see the race postponed for this year, there really was no choice for the organisers.

“Hosting an event like the Tour of Britain takes a lot of hard work and preparation. The postponement of the race is an understandable development as we are dealing with the effects of a global pandemic.

“I am delighted that the organisers have agreed to simply push the race back for 12 months. Our team has already carried out an immense amount of work for this year’s race, and this will prove essential when it comes to successfully hosting the opening stage next year.

“Having the Tour of Britain in Cornwall offers us a chance to show our wonderful corner of the world off to a global audience, and will provide a much-needed boost for our towns and our tourist industry next year.”

Councillor Stuart Hughes Devon County Council Cabinet Member with responsibility for cycling

“I’m sure everyone can appreciate the amount of thought that has gone into making this decision, and everyone involved in the planning of the race is agreed that it is the right thing to do. Of course, we understand a lot of people will be disappointed, but safety for spectators, the riders and the organisers of the race is paramount.

“The crowds are always what has made Devon stages of the Tour of Britain so special. Hundreds of thousands of people always turn out along the route, and if social distancing means that isn’t possible then it makes sense that the race is postponed until next year. We will look forward to welcoming The Tour back in 2021 to make it the biggest and best ever edition of the race.”

Warrington Borough Council Leader, Cllr Russ Bowden

“Being selected as a host venue for the Tour of Britain is a real honour for our town, and I am, of course, disappointed that the event cannot go ahead this year. However, this is absolutely the right decision. People’s health and safety comes first and until we are in a position to guarantee that safety, large scale events like this simply cannot go ahead.

“At the same time, the current pressures facing Warrington and all local authorities means our resources must be dedicated to keeping our essential services running and protecting our most vulnerable people. This must be our priority at the moment, which means we do not have the capacity to fully plan the event, nor to maximise the social, economic and community benefits that it will bring to our town.

“We now have a 16-month build up to the race coming to Warrington, which gives us the time to ensure that this is a wonderful occasion for our town. We are fully committed to supporting Tour of Britain’s aims to make the 2021 event bigger and better than ever.”

Cllr Keith Little, Cumbria County Council Cabinet member for Highways and Transport

“While it’s disappointing the Tour of Britain won’t be returning to Cumbria in September, we fully understand and support the reasons for postponing this year’s race. The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents must be our number one priority. The county council invests a lot of time planning and preparing for the Tour of Britain but at the moment we must focus our efforts on responding to the Covid-19 emergency, supporting our communities and keeping people safe.

“We also believe it wouldn’t be in anyone’s interests to host a major sporting event attracting many thousands of spectators if social distancing measures are still in place to protect people from coronavirus.”

Aberdeen City Council Co-Leader Councillor Jenny Laing

“We appreciate the cancellation of the Tour of Britain will be a disappointment to many but we must be mindful of the ongoing Covid-19 situation and I’m sure people will regard the decision taken by organisers as the correct one.

“Through our Aberdeen 365 Events Programme and City Centre Masterplan Aberdeen City Council is committed to making Aberdeen a vibrant place to live, work and visit. We will continue to work with partners and stakeholders to ensure that when the event comes to the region in 2021, we are even better placed to celebrate what Aberdeen has to offer to visitors. I also anticipate that attracting footfall throughout the city centre will be key to supporting our economic recovery and 2021 will be an important part of our plans to emerge from this pandemic in as strong a position as possible.”

Leader of Aberdeenshire Council Cllr Jim Gifford

“Of course it is disappointing to hear of the postponement of the Tour of Britain, however it feels like the correct decision has been taken in the current circumstances. The team involved in bringing this stage to Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been working hard in the background throughout this pandemic to look at the various options and can now begin to focus their efforts on next year.

“I know the communities of Aberdeenshire will be looking forward to the rescheduled date and the global audience will have the chance to see how truly spectacular Aberdeenshire is in 2021.”