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Tour de France imageThis Saturday marks the start of the biggest cycling event in the world – the Tour de France. The 2014 event will kick off in Yorkshire, making its way down to Sheffield and then London before heading to France. The Highways agency are urging motorists to plan all journeys surrounding these areas from Saturday 5th until Monday 7th as major delays and road closures are expected.

Stage 3, which is a 155km route from Cambridge to London, is expected to cause the most disruption to normal driving conditions. The route will have consequences for city and town communities in the region. The East network will be much busier on the day, with high numbers of additional travelling spectators and diverted commuter and commercial traffic.

Highways Agency Emergency Planning Manager, Nigel Allsopp, said: “We have two road closures in place due to the route passing through our network, but these will be clearly signposted and additional Highways Agency response teams will be available on the network. Drivers should be aware junctions 7 to 13 on the M11 are expected to be busy and delays are likely.”

The Agency will be bolstering its service to customers with additional Highways Agency response teams on duty during the event, and on standby to deal with incidents.

“Our aim is to keep the Highways Agency network running whilst keeping road users safe and informed,” said Nigel. “There may be a need for further closures on the day to prevent traffic from stacking on the county roads but we will closely monitor this situation.”

There are two planned closures on the Highways Agency network that will take place from 6am on Monday, July 7:

Junction 9a of the M11 northbound – both slip roads

Drivers will be directed onto the M11 southbound and exit at junction 8, but motorists should be aware that from junctions 10 to 13 congestion is likely due to local road closures and event traffic.

A11 Stumps Cross southbound – both slip roads

Non-motorway traffic will be directed to use the A1307.

The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website, iPhone app, local radio travel bulletins and electronic road signs. Travel information is also available by phone from the Highways Agency Information Line on 0300 123 5000 and updates will be provided via Twitter @HAtraffic_east.

More information on local road closures can be found on your local council website. You can find out more details about the Tour de France UK route here.