Tour de France: 'They think Yorkshire stops at York' ... call for answers as Hull misses out on tourism boost
SENIOR politicians are demanding answers from tourism bosses after missing out on the money-spinning benefits of hosting the Tour de France.
The world's biggest cycling race generated £88m for the south east's economy when it passed through London and Kent in 2007.
Hull and the East Riding have missed out on the chance of a similar boost to the region's ailing economy after Tour de France organisers revealed the route will only pass through West, South and North Yorkshire, bypassing East Yorkshire completely.
Now, Hull councillor Terry Geraghty, portfolio holder for leisure and culture, is writing a stinging letter to tourism body Welcome To Yorkshire's chief executive Gary Verity.
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Cllr Geraghty said: "Once again, it just proves when they say Yorkshire, they think it stops at York.
"I'm extremely disappointed because we, as a council, are the only ones who have got a partnership with the British Cycling Association.
"Quite honestly, I think a trick has been missed."
Welcome To Yorkshire led the bid for the county to be chosen as a starting point.
But the final decision on the route was down to the organisers of LeTour 2014.
The three UK stages of the tour were announced at a press conference in Paris yesterday.
It will head from Leeds to Harrogate on day one, then down to Sheffield before finally passing through Cambridge into London.
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said: "Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves."
The route avoids the Yorkshire Wolds and Humber Bridge, both suggested as possible racing locations before the route was unveiled.
Hull City Council leader Stephen Brady said: "I am deeply disappointed but not surprised.
"Hull is often overlooked in Yorkshire compared with other cities. We certainly don't get our fair share."
Cllr Geraghty said the snub was proof the region was being ignored by tourism chiefs at Welcome To Yorkshire.
He said: "It's as though we're not part of the organisation.
"I shall be writing to Mr Verity to make our concerns known.
"We're not happy. We were not consulted."
Graham Stuart, MP for Beverley and Holderness, said: "I'm very disappointed.
"It would have been great if it could have come to the home of cycling in Yorkshire, which is East Yorkshire."
Hull East MP Karl Turner had hoped the tour would bring visitors to the city.
He said he was "gutted" to hear it was not coming to the region.
Mr Turner said: "This would have been a perfect opportunity to showcase Hull and the beauty of the surrounding region."
A spokesman for Welcome To Yorkshire said: "The route has been decided by the organisers of the Tour and not Welcome To Yorkshire."
He said a "genuinely exciting" tourism event for the East Yorkshire coast would be announced in the near future.