Over the coming week the Olympic Torch Relay in Northumberland will come to life as special banners are attached to lamp posts marking its route through the county.
The banners, bearing the Northumberland Torch relay logo, are being erected to show people where they can stand to watch the torch relay procession and will also indicate where temporary road closures will be on the day of the relay.
Thousands of residents are expected to turn out to witness this once in a life time spectacle and Northumberland County Council is asking them to leave plenty of time to get to their vantage point as the roads will be closing ahead of the convoy as part of a rolling road closure and big crowds are expected.
The torch relay will be running to a strict timetable and you can log on to
(northumberlandin2012.northumberland.gov.uk) to find a map of the route and what time it will be passing a community near you.
Councillor Neil Bradbury, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism at Northumberland County Council 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 and in the local press, 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 activation convoy of sponsors’ vehicles from Coca Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung, which will proclaim its arrival with the distribution of keepsake giveaways and announcements of the torch bearers.
The flame itself will follow approximately 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 Northumberland County Council said:
“ This once in a lifetime event will bring the London 2012 Olympic Games to communities throughout the county.
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 please make their travel arrangements in advance.”
Due to the large number of schools viewing the torch in the towns of Bedlington and Morpeth there will be complete road closures in place with diversionary routes advertised. Alnwick will also see some complete road closures due to the extended Alnwick festival celebrating the torch coming to the town, again with diversionary routes advertised.
The 70 day Olympic Torch Relay, will start at Land's End, Cornwall on the morning of May 19. On leaving Land's End, the Olympic Flame will travel an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK giving thousands of communities and individuals their moment to shine as the Olympic Flame comes to a place near them.