REM guide Tour of Britain through Bristol Stage

REM assisted Tour of Britain organisers in managing the 15.3km circuit, which took in some of Bristol’s most iconic sites for Stage 7 of the Tour of Britain, Sept 10th, 2016.

The Tour of Britain is the UK’s leading road cycling event, with 21 teams comprised of 121 world class riders, including six of Team GB’s Olympian cyclists, competing across ten gruelling stages. This year’s tour was won by Dimension Data rider, Steve Cummings, the second Briton to have won the event since its rebrand in 2004, after Sir Bradley Wiggins rode to victory in 2013.

Saturday’s penultimate Bristol stage was split into two parts, both started from the Bristol Downs, around a 15.3 kilometre circuit which took in iconic Bristol sites, and saw the riders cycle across Brunel’s Clifton Suspension Bridge. Each lap included the 9%, 600-metre climb of Bridge Valley Road, once during the time trial in the morning and on each of the six laps of the circuit race in the afternoon.

REM started work in April on the project, consulting many stakeholders about closing down a significant part of the cities road network, particularly in close liaison with Bristol City Council’s highways manager Duncan Venison. REM’s project director Ben Hardy explains the key factors to enable road closures on an unprecedented scale:

“Closing a road loop circuit on this scale within a city has only ever been done in London and Liverpool, so we had to create our own traffic and event management blueprints from scratch to achieve these complex closures. The race circuit took in some significant roads, such as The Portway, which carries approximately 40% of Bristol Airport traffic, and we blocked roads passing six of Bristol’s major tourist attractions. On a more personal level, I have been in touch with six brides concerned about access to their weddings and we were aware of a few expectant mothers who may need prioritised travel facilities.”

Mick Bennett, Race Director, Tour of Britain commented: “In 33 years of tours I have not seen a better organised stage, it has been a true pleasure coming to Bristol and working with the local team.”

Bristol attracted thousands of cycling fans from across the country, so to ensure the routes were safely enclosed for the riders to speed through, and that facilities for spectators’ welfare and enjoyment were in place, REM brought in:

  • 191 Bristol event personnel (in addition to the tours own event team)
  • 100 two way radios, operating across 16 channels
  • 1,700 red and white cones
  • 1,000 ‘No Waiting’ cones
  • 250 road signs
  • 300 pieces of heavy duty (MASS) road barrier