Banners going up to point the way to London Games

One of the banners highlighting the route of the Olympic Torch which are going up on county lamp-posts.
One of the banners highlighting the route of the Olympic Torch which are going up on county lamp-posts.
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BANNERS are going up around the county to point out the route the Olympic torch will take next month.

With the clock ticking down until the torch relay arrives in Berwick on Thursday, June 14, officials at Northumberland County Council are busy making final preparations.

Banners bearing the council’s torch relay logo, are being put up on lamp-posts to show people where they can stand to watch the torch relay procession and give warning of temporary road closures on the day of the relay.

Thousands of people are expected to turn out to see the Olympic flame arrive in Alnwick on the evening of June 14 before heading south the following day through Ashington, Newbiggin, Bedlington and Blyth and into North Tyneside at 2pm.

Officials at the county council are urging people to leave plenty of time to get to their chosen vantage point due to the road closures ahead of the rolling convoy and the big crowds expected.

The relay will run to a strict timetable, available at http://northumberlandin2012.northumberland.gov.uk

Neil Bradbury, the council’s executive member for culture, leisure and tourism, said: “Our message is simple. If you see the distinctive lamp-post banner, then this marks a spot where you can see the torch relay pass by with a torchbearer carrying the flame.

“The excitement is certainly starting to build up, and we are really looking forward to welcoming the Olympic torch to our county.

“We want everyone to enjoy the relay and will be publishing more information on the council website about the route timings, where you can park and which areas to avoid nearer the time.”

The torch will be accompanied by a 33-vehicle convoy, including an advance fleet of sponsors’ vehicles.

The flame itself will follow about five minutes behind, protected by officers from the Metropolitan Police.

Zoe Bottrell, managing director of Culture Creative, the company responsible for the logistics of the event for the county council, said: “We are expecting large crowds, and there will be rolling road closures along the route before and during the relay.

“This will undoubtedly have some impact on traffic flow as the convoy will be moving at running pace.

“We are urging all those who wish to see the torch, and all those who wish to go about their day-to-day business, to make their travel arrangements in advance.”

Due to the large number of schools viewing the torch in Bedlington and Morpeth, there will be complete road closures, with diversionary routes advertised.