Pedal power meets steam power, as Bodmin hosts the Tour of Britain stage one finish
A community festival weekend, open air live music, a military village, street performers, and Bodmin & Wenford Railway in full steam – just some of the treats planned for the climax of the Cornwall stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race on 4 and 5 September.
It’s not every town that can offer ‘Park and Steam’ as a travelling option. But to enjoy the spectacle of the UK’s largest free spectator sports event, and to ease traffic in Bodmin town centre, some lucky spectators will arrive by heritage steam train and alight right beside the finishing line.
Tour of Britain cyclists are expected to complete the first gruelling 111 miles of their Cornwall to Scotland race in Bodmin between 15.00 and 16.00 on Sunday 5 September.
In a first for this prestige international cycle race, Bodmin & Wenford Railway has offered free round trips by diesel-hauled train on Saturday 4 September and by steam loco on Sunday 5 September from Bodmin Parkway Station to Bodmin General Station, alongside the famous Bodmin Keep and the winners’ rostrum.
There will be up to five round trip services each day. The aim is to give people an attractive alternative to driving into Bodmin on these busy days (note: usual car parking rates at Bodmin Parkway Station will apply). The free train seats have been sponsored by Cornwall plant-based treats makers Butterm!lk.
And to keep Bodmin pedestrian-friendly there will also be a special Park and Ride service by bus (sorry, not steam!) from the A38 roundabout beside Glynn Valley Crematorium, following signs to Lanhydrock. It will offer a 10 minute frequency service from 10.00 am with the last bus back from Omaha Road at 1758. Fares are £2 single, £4 family.
The pedestrian-friendly theme continues in Fore Street, which will be traffic free on Saturday and Sunday.
- Attractions and events will be taking place across the town all weekend, including at Fair Park, Mount Folly, Hillside and Priory Park.
- There will be funfairs, stilt walkers, a wacky wheels workshop, food & drink stalls, games and a military village.
- Saturday evening will see The Rifles Sounding of Retreat, and on Sunday a free-to-all open-air Music Festival.
- A Junior Fun Run will make use of the competitors’ finish line and podium.
- The town has an amazing Bike Art Trail with creatively decorated and donated bikes.
- The Tour of Britain Grand Départ stage will finish near the steam railway station and Bodmin’s historic Keep (the Duke of Cornwall’s Light Infantry Museum) after the cyclists’ peloton has climbed St Nicholas Street.
Pat Rogerson, Cornwall Councillor for Bodmin St Mary’s & St Leonard, said: “Bodmin is surrounded by many moorland and woodland trails with special cycling facilities at Cardinham Woods and Lanhydrock. Tour of Britain weekend, though, sees the world’s best cyclists actually cycling right through our town! I’m delighted that Bodmin, with all it has to offer, has been chosen for the Stage One Finish.”
Leigh Frost, Cornwall Councillor for Bodmin St Petroc’s, said: “It is a great honour for Bodmin to be the climax of a very exciting day’s sport. The cyclists will be very glad to reach our handsome and welcoming town on Sunday, and we wish them well for the many arduous miles that lie ahead.”
Jeremy Cooper, Mayor of Bodmin, said: “It is a rare treat for Bodmin to be the centre of attention and to have a role on the world’s sporting stage. We say to the competitors, thank you sincerely for your visit and what I’m sure will be thrilling performances, and please come back again soon to enjoy some rather gentler biking.”
PLEASE NOTE: THERE WILL BE TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT AND PARKING RESTRICTIONS IN BODMIN FOR THE TOUR OF BRITAIN
For traffic heading towards Bodmin on Saturday and Sunday we recommend using the ‘Park and Train’ offer from Bodmin Parkway Station (usual car parking charges apply, but travel on the Bodmin & Wenford trains will be free).
Or, on Sunday only, use the Park and Ride service by bus. Car park near the A38 roundabout beside Glynn Valley Crematorium, following signs to Lanhydrock. Free car parking, 10 minute frequency service from 10.00 am with the last bus back from Omaha Road at 1758. Fares £2 single, £4 family.
Roads and parking in the town are likely to be congested, particularly on Sunday, so we strongly advise not driving into or through Bodmin.
A temporary Clearway (road open to traffic, but no stopping, no parking) will be in place along the whole length of Higher Bore Street in Bodmin from 12 noon to 16.00 on Sunday 5 September. This is to allow the Tour of Britain cycle race to travel through without obstruction.
There will also be a rolling road closure keeping pace with the racers as they approach Bodmin from Lanivet and along Westheath Avenue. It will delay traffic on the route, and on adjoining junctions, only for around 30 to 40 minutes.
Pedestrian access to homes and businesses will be maintained at all times, but vehicle access will be restricted on Higher Bore Street between noon and 16.00.
There is more information at Cornwall Tour of Britain Route and for Bodmin events information please email firstname.lastname@example.org or Tel 01208 76616.
There are maps here on Temporary Parking Restrictions