Anatomy of Tour de France costs

 
Tour de France in London The Tour de France passed some of London's most famous landmarks including Buckingham Palace

Related Stories

The Tour has moved on and there's no doubt the crowds turned out in huge numbers - but what is the legacy of the Tour De France 2014 for England and, in these austere times, who paid for it and how?

It's certainly not straight forward trying to find out the real costs behind the Tour as everyone pays different amounts.

The Tour is run by a commercial operation the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), which charges a staging fee to the towns and cities wanting the start and finish of each stage.

That fee varies depending on how big the stage is. So, you pay more for the Grand Depart (the start) and less for the end of a stage. Well that's the theory.

Council criticism

For example, York City Council paid £500,000 to host the start of Day Two, with operating costs including toilets and barriers on top of that.

Sheffield paid a staging fee of £200,000 for the finish which did attract some criticism in light of cuts elsewhere in the council's budgets.

In total, according to the Tdf Hub 2014 Ltd, the event's governing body, local councils on stage one and two paid £10.6m to host and deliver the event.

If you break that down - £3.5m were the actual bid costs.

Putting on Le Grand Depart Stage One Leeds to Harrogate cost local councils £3.2m, with Stage Two from York to Sheffield costing the councils involved £3.9m to implement.

Breakdown of costs for stage one and two

On top of that, central government contributed £10m to help local authorities in Yorkshire, Cambridge and Essex, cover the costs.

However, the Government's contribution stops at the M25, with some paying more and others less.

While York paid £500,000 to see the start of a stage, Essex says it didn't actually pay anything as its stage was covered by the central government money as the Tour passed through.

It said: "Essex County Council is not making any financial contribution to the organisation of Le Tour, so there will be no additional cost to the Essex council tax payer.

"The government announced in July 2013 that it was providing up to £10m worth of funding to help host the opening stages of the 2014 Tour de France in Yorkshire and the 3rd stage from Cambridge to London."

As soon as the Tour went over the M25 it came under the auspices and control of Transport for London (TfL) and so it was paid for by them without any government funding.

TfL's contribution for the finish of Stage Three was £6m, the breakdown of which is below.

Breakdown of Transport for London's contribution for the finish of Stage 3

When I asked TfL, it also emerged the £6m had come out of the cycling budget.

That did not go down well with cycling campaigners who thought it was "outrageous" and believe the money would be better spent on infrastructure such as cycle lanes to cope with the huge numbers of cyclists in the capital.

TfL justifies the cash coming out of the cycling budget by saying as well as economic benefits and promoting London, the Tour de France also encourages cycling.

In fact, it quotes a BBC poll which says one in five adults would cycle more after seeing the Tour and reflects its own research from the last time the Tour came to London in 2007.

Others dispute there is a link between professional sporting events and take up of that sport.

Tour de France Stage Three Spectators cheer as the pack race during the third stage of the Tour from Cambridge to London

One critic said Tfl using the cycling budget was the same as the Highways Agency paying for Formula One.

Tfl said: "This money is not associated to any safety budgets and is also from the same pot of money that TfL's contribution came from in 2007 - which led to an 8% increase in the number of people cycling in London.

"The total cycling budget this year is around £100m, which is broadly split 2/3s infrastructure and 1/3 non-infrastructure. In 2007, the cycling budget was around £20m."

In 2007 London hosted the start of the event, Le Grand Depart, over a weekend at a cost of £7.5m. Of that TfL paid £3.8m.

Cost-spreading in 2007

According to TfL that included "the official launch in February 2006; the hosting fee paid to the ASO; and planning and delivery of the Opening Ceremony, Prologue and Stage One'.

In 2007 there was a contribution from other bodies including the London Development Agency (LDA).

Again, the aim was to boost the London economy, promote the capital and encourage cycling. The breakdown from other contributors were:

  • LDA: £2,400,000
  • UK Sport: £450,000
  • Sport England: £250,000
  • SEEDA: £200,000
  • Kent County Council: £269,000
  • Canterbury City Council: £81,000
  • Medway Council: £25,000
  • British Cycling £10,000
  • Total Contributions £3,685,000

So, in 2007 London agencies paid £5.2m for the Grand Depart. Of that £2.4m was paid by the LDA and £3.815m from TfL.

Tour de France spectators Transport for London believes the benefits outweigh the cost and hopes for a greater uptake of the sport

That is in contrast to this year when no contributions were made to the Tour budget by London tourism agencies.

In 2014, most of the councils outside London paid £10.6m for two days of the race and the Grand Depart with central government paying £9.9m to help with those costs.

This year, inside the M25 TfL alone paid £6m for the finish of Stage Three.

These figures are bound to raise more questions.

Is that a good deal? Does the Tour really promote everyday cycling? Why is TfL paying much more in 2014 than it did in 2007? Why didn't the Government and London's tourism agencies contribute to stage Three?

Is London being penalised for predicting its budget more accurately than other areas? And does it matter whose purse the money comes out of if Yorkshire and London benefit economically by £100m?

Ben Plowden, Director of Surface Strategy and Planning at TfL, said: "The phenomenal success of the Tour de France's return to London in July will help to inspire seasoned and novice cyclists alike to take to two wheels.

"More than one million people turned out to witness this fantastic event, driving an economic boost to the capital as well as a growth in the city's cyclists.

"The final costs of hosting Stage Three of the Tour de France are being finalised however, the final amount will be within the original £6m budgeted. The standard ASO hosting fee of €500,000 is included as part of this original budget."

 
Tom Edwards Article written by Tom Edwards Tom Edwards Transport correspondent, London

Family of killed cyclist Janina Gehlau speaks out

The husband and mother of a cyclist who died after a collision with a HGV in London speak out for the first time.

Read full article

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Comments

This entry is now closed for comments

Jump to comments pagination
 
  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 43.

    the legacy of the tour just means more idiot cyclists on the road, riding in packs causing havoc on the roads. cyclists should have to take a test like other road users and adhere to the Highway Code.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 42.

    Worth every penny. When we consider some of the nonsense that our money gets spent on this was well spent. £3.2m spent on Stage 1 producing an estimated 1 million spectators - £3.20 per person! Well done councils for actually doing the right thing.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 41.

    I think the benefits to Yorkshire will far outweigh the cost. It was 8 hours over 2 days of free advertising for the natural beauty of Yorkshire and the picturesque towns and villages, broadcast across the world.

    I've also heard of several local businesses that did a months worth of trade in a day.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 40.

    It's a joke. Libraries are being closed. Public sector workers with next to no pay rise for years. Potholes in North Yorkshire on ***some*** roads fixed from future years budgets (what's going to happen if we have a bad winter this year?). Ill though through ego-massaging event for the few at the cost of many. Legacy? Don't make me laugh.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 39.

    Because the Tour de France is such a rare and openly public event one may be forgiven to misquote the old maxim, We may know the cost, but not the value of everything". The Tour de France was a welcome as well as a great privilege for our nation to participate. Long may it continue.

 

Comments 5 of 43

 

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.