By Greg Johnson
High-ranking British officials have confirmed that increased security measures in London, the result of a recent spate of bombing attempts, will not affect the execution of its well-oiled plans for the Tour de France's Grand Depart in the metropolis.
"Our plans for hosting the Tour de France Grand Depart are unaffected by the present increase in security," Transport for London special projects technical manager Gary MacGowan declared to Cyclingnews. "We have been working closely with the Metropolitan Police on the delivery of this event and plans for dealing with any security issues are already in place."
MacGowan's comments were echoed by London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS), who confirmed its organisation is working closely with British Transport Police and City of London.
"We have thoroughly reviewed the policing plans for all events over the coming days, including the Tour de France, to ensure that they are fit for purpose," the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) told The Guardian. "An appropriate policing plan will be in place. Enhanced policing continues across the Capital. The MPS is well versed in delivering the policing of high profile events and this is well within our capacity to deliver."
Meanwhile London's Mayor, Ken Livingstone, said it would be 'mad to build this up and make people worried', adding that he doesn't expect the recent activities to affect crowd numbers this weekend. Livingstone joked that the only real concern ahead of the Tour de France's debut in the city was the weather.
"We don't expect those figures to be in any way diminished," said Livingstone at a press conference in London. "I'd be more worried about the weather.
"This is a small group of mostly young people, disaffected and disillusioned, who are able to claim lives," added Livingstone. "We shouldn't work ourselves up to a hysterical panic. It would be mad to build this up and make people worried."