A new law will need to be passed to allow the Tour de France to pass through Braintree district this summer.

The first three days of the famous race are being held in Britain this year, including a 159km stage from Cambridge to London on July 7.

But current British laws do not allow a race the size of the Tour to be held on public roads.

The law, introduced in 1960, allows races with a maximum of 100 competitors to be held on no more than two occasions each year, chosen by the British Cycling Federation.

Last year, 219 cyclists set off from Corsica on the opening day of the Tour.

See tomorrow's Times for the full story