On Saturday 11 September, East Lothian plays host to the Tour of Britain for the first time in four years, when Stage Seven passes through on its Hawick to Edinburgh route.
Among the top names already confirmed for the race are Mark Cavendish from the Isle of Man, who has been hailed as the best sprinter of all time, and Belgium’s Wout Van Aert – Tokyo 2020 Olympic medallist and six-time Tour de France stage winner.
This is a fantastic opportunity for cycling fans and local people to see some of the world’s greatest cyclists, right on their doorstep! The route will cross over into East Lothian in the Lammermuirs, where there will be a King of the Mountain stage at Wanside Rigg. It then passes through Gifford, East Saltoun and Pencaitland before passing into Midlothian.
As Scotland has now moved beyond Level Zero in terms of COVID-19 restrictions, there are no limits on the number of people who can gather outside. However, we would still advise caution and where larger groups gather it may be advisable to wear a face covering even when outdoors and to keep a good distance from each other if possible. Hand hygiene is also still very important and, of course, if you do have any COVID symptoms, you should stay at home. For the King of the Mountain stage, please note that car parking is not available. It’s anticipated any spectators at this remote section would likely be cycling enthusiasts travelling by bike.
Councillor John McMillan, East Lothian Council’s spokesperson for Economic Development and Tourism said: “The council has been working closely with the Tour organisers on planning a safe passage through East Lothian for the riders, and we are encouraging local people, school communities and businesses along the route to get involved if they can, in decorating their villages to give the riders a warm welcome.
“The Tour attracts a huge worldwide television audience so it would be great to see our villages looking colourful and spectators lining the route.
“We also anticipate people from outwith East Lothian will visit and watch the riders pass through, particularly members of cycling clubs, and we hope they stay a while longer and visit some of our fantastic hospitality settings.”
There will be a series of rolling road closures as the race passes through and it’s anticipated that none will last longer than 30 minutes so that minimal disruption is caused to residents and businesses.
The riders are expected to take around 90 minutes to pass through East Lothian with an estimated time of crossing from the Scottish Borders into East Lothian between 14.04 and 14.39 and crossing into Midlothian between 14.41 and 15.20. Warning notices advising of the temporary closures will be going up along the route this month.
The Tour organisers have attended several Safety Advisory Groups, working with the relevant local authorities and partner agencies including the emergency services and Transport Scotland to ensure safety and protection issues have been addressed.
For more details and updates on the Tour of Britain and Stage Seven, Hawick to Edinburgh, visit https://www.tourofbritain.co.uk/