Rehearsal will test Olympic torch route across Rutland and Stamford

The Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch

AN Olympic torch dress rehearsal will take place across Rutland and Stamford on Friday next week.

The Leicester to Peterborough route, which passes through the area has been chosen as a test route for the relay which will take place in June and July in the build up to London 2012.

The full torch convoy will travel through the area, following the same route as it will during the main event on July 3 to enable organisers to test the convoy, crew and communications procedures.

South Kesteven District Council’s Olympic Champion Coun John Smith (Con) is confident that the Stamford plans will come up to the mark.

He said: “The torch is due to be in Stamford from 4.45pm and road closures will take effect from 3.30pm.

“Full details of the event are contained in a leaflet being distributed to hundreds of homes and businesses in the immediate area explaining the arrangements for the day.

“Some disruption is inevitable but I am sure that everyone will understand that plans for the big celebration have got to be tested and I am proud that Stamford has been selected to take part in the full dress rehearsal,”

When in “torchbearer mode”, the convoy will travel at about four miles per hour and all entries onto the route will be closed off to traffic until shortly after it has passed.

The times of the torch route are liable to change for the main event, which is why the dress rehearsal is taking place.

Traffic control arrangements have been designed to ensure that traffic flows return to normal as quickly as possible, but there will inevitably be some congestion as the convoy passes.

Police, traffic marshals and stewards will be positioned along the route to offer advice, help and directions.

Rutland County Council leader Roger Begy said: “The dress rehearsal is extremely important to the organisers as it helps them to fully test their plans ahead of the main Olympic torch relay in July.

“There won’t be a great deal for local residents to see and the torch will not be lit, but we are making our community aware as there will inevitably be minor disruption along the route as the convoy travels through Rutland.

“Every home and business along the torch route will shortly receive a leaflet with more detailed information about the rehearsal.”

In Rutland a rolling road closure of the main route and all side road entrances will begin about 10 to 15 minutes ahead of the torch convoy.

The torch is due to reach Langham at 2.18pm, Oakham at 2.29pm, Rutland Water at 2.54pm and Uppingham at 4.15pm

On the day, all parking, including blue badge parking, will be restricted on the main routes through Langham, Oakham, Rutland Water, Uppingham and Stamford and in some side roads.

Signs indicating where and when the restrictions are have been put up and cones will be put out on the day.

People who live in the areas affected are being asked to make sure their vehicles are moved off the road before the convoy passes through and drivers are being advised to avoid the torch relay route throughout the day.

People doing the school run and using public transport can also expect delays.

The Olympic torch will pass through Rutland and Stamford on July 3 and Bourne and The Deepings on July 4.

For information about the Olympic celebations in Rutland visit www.rutland.gov.uk/olympictorchrelay

For information about events in Stamford, Bourne and The Deepings visit www.southkesteven.gov.uk/olympics2012