Olympic torch enjoyment in Hertfordshire...
(3rd July 2012)
The crowds are expected to turn out in their thousands when the Olympic Torch hits the streets of Hertfordshire on 7 and 8 July (Saturday and Sunday).
While local district and borough authorities are taking the lead for traffic management and crowd stewarding, Hertfordshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire County Council are also advising members of the public to make plans about where to go to watch the relay and to bring along basic provisions such as bottles of water and sun lotion if the weather improves.
Roads along some sections of the route in Hertfordshire will be closed before the torch arrives and until it has passed. There will also be ‘rolling road closures’ moving with the torch. Traffic control arrangements have been designed to ensure that traffic flows return to normal as quickly as possible after the convoy has passed. Traffic marshals and stewards will be positioned along the route to offer help, advice and directions.
Road users are urged to be careful when travelling due to the increased number of pedestrians on the roadside. Motorists should leave additional time for journeys and avoid travelling near the relay route in the time just before and after the torch travels through.
Information about the route is available through a number of sources including the official Olympic web site www.london2012.com which is managed by event organisers, LOCOG. Locally, Twitter users can follow Hertfordshire Constabulary to get regular updates about the Olympic Torch Relay during its time in the county. These updates will include traffic news, road closures and information about any delays in the Olympic Torch Relay schedule. You can follow Herts Police on Twitter @HertsPolice or by visiting www.twitter.com/hertspolice. All Olympic Torch Relay ‘tweets’ will be followed by the hashtag #OlympicTorch. Hertfordshire County Council will also provide updates using the same hashtag and can be followed on Twitter @Hertscc.
The police response to the relay will also involve neighbourhood teams across the seven host districts providing a visible presence to support local authorities in what has promised to be two special days of celebration in the county.
Traffic delays can be expected on 7 July as the Torch travels from the White Water venue at 9.35am up to Eleanor Cross before returning to convoy mode to travel to Hertford where it arrives at 10.12am. In Hertford the Torch travels through Fore Street, Market Street, Railway Street and South Street. After Hertford it heads to Ware and then onto Bishop’s Stortford.
Again traffic disruption is expected when the Torch returns to the county on Sunday (8 July) starting its journey at Letchworth Garden City at 11.19am arriving from the A507 at Norton Road. Travelling in convoy mode to Stevenage it is due to arrive just after mid-day and will go around the town. At 1.30pm it arrives in Welwyn Garden City before travelling onto Hatfield. Its route includes a visit to Hatfield House before heading out on the A1057 Hatfield Road towards St Albans. The torch skirts St Albans town centre and travels down Catherine Street. At the A4147 with Oyster Fields it returns to convoy mode and heads to Hemel Hempstead arriving at 4.58pm. Hemel Hempstead is the last stop in Hertfordshire before the Torch travels to Luton for the evening celebration.
Motorists are asked to remain patient if the torch is moving through an area where they are driving and we thank drivers in advance for their consideration. Spectators are also advised to stay safe, listen to the advice given by traffic marshals and stewards and to look after their belongings.
Superintendent Owen Weatherall has the local policing responsibility for the Torch whilst it travels around Hertfordshire. He said: “This is a great community event and we want members of the public to enjoy the spectacle of the Torch relay. There will be some inconvenience to local roads but the aim is to get people moving as quickly as possible. I am sure the public will understand the need to impose some restrictions for the safety of spectators and of the Torch procession itself.”
Derrick Ashley, Chairman of the Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners Partnership, said: “Being an Olympic host county is an honour for Hertfordshire and for so many residents to get to see the Torch is fantastic.
“The torch relay provides opportunities for communities to get together and celebrate not only the Games, but to show support for the achievements of local people chosen to run with the Olympic flame.
“We are fortunate that the Torch is visiting ten towns in the county, giving plenty of cause for celebration. All Hertfordshire residents will be within a few miles of the flame at some point during the weekend celebrations.
“The roads along the relay route will be lined with people celebrating the arrival of the Torch and showing their support for local torchbearers and, because of this, we want to encourage motorists to be extra vigilant for pedestrians and take their time in making journeys.”
The relay is travelling through Hertfordshire on day 50 and 51 of its UK tour before arriving in Stratford for the opening ceremony on July 27.
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