On your marks... Get set... Go!
(27th July 2012)
After years of planning, the London 2012 Olympic Games are finally upon us and the excitement in Hertfordshire is building by the day.
Agencies across the county have been working closely together to ensure the Lee Valley event will go off without a serious hitch and will be thoroughly enjoyed the by thousands of spectators over the five-day competition.
Your local county council has been involved in many aspects of the Games from implementing the Olympic Route Network and working to ensure that the roads keep moving around the venue, to ensuring the Fire and Rescue Service is ready to swiftly deal with any incident which may occur, in and around the venue.
There’s also been a variety of programmes delivered in schools to encourage children to get active and participate in sport, and the county council has given its whole allocation of Olympic tickets to children looked after and their carers.
Day Centres across the county are also embracing this special event, offering taster sports sessions and a host of Olympic related activities and parties.
County Councillor Derrick Ashley, Chair of the Hertfordshire is Ready for Winners Partnership, said: “This is such an exciting time for the country and for Hertfordshire in particular. We have all waited a long time for this once in a lifetime event and it promises to be worth the wait.
“Behind the scenes the county council has been involved in many aspects of the planning to ensure the Games are safe, secure and enjoyable for everyone involved.
“Hertfordshire businesses have benefited from £38m worth of Olympic contracts. Hopefully the connections being made now will lead to more business in the future, bringing an additional boost to the county’s economy.
”Although we’re heavily involved in the Olympics, it remains business as usual for the county council and I’d like to provide reassurance that our other services will not be affected by the Games.”
Trading Standards Officers and Fire Officers have been working to ensure the site is safe for spectators and competitors and will be providing assistance in and around the venue for the duration of the Games.
Director of Community Protection and Chief Fire Officer Roy Wilsher said: “We have been training with our emergency service colleagues in the Police and health service and have tried and tested arrangements in place to deal with any incident, large or small.
“A lot of work is still going on in the background and we will have officers in and around the Lee Valley White Water Centre, making sure that everything operates as it should to ensure people can enjoy this one-off International sporting event.”
Other work the county council has done in preparation for the Games include:
* Moving highways maintenance work forward so that no non-emergency work takes place in or around the Lee Valley White Water Centre during the Games.
* Fire Safety Officers have been working hard to ensure that any temporary sleeping arrangements meet all the necessary Fire regulations. If you need advice please contact Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service on 0300 123 4046.
* Trading Standards Officers ensuring that people don’t use the opportunity to sell counterfeit goods.
* The set up and operation of a multi-agency transport hub – the roads will be monitored from a central location and a team will be on standby to respond to any incident on the road to ensure traffic can keep moving.
If you are planning to attend any of the competition events you should use one of the park and ride facilities or travel by public transport. Plan your journey in advance and allow additional time for your journey.
Derrick Ashley added: “It’s really important that people follow the advice given around transport. Strict parking restrictions are in place around the competition venues and you will not be able to park. Do not attempt to drive - you risk missing the event as there will simply not be anywhere to leave your car. You should either use one of the park and ride facilities, which will take you straight to the venue, or travel by train to Cheshunt, which is the official rail station for the white water course.”
Assistant Chief Constable Jon Boutcher who is the lead police commander for the games for the Constabulary said: “It is a privilege to be part of this fantastic event. We want people to come to Hertfordshire to enjoy the Games and they can feel confident about their safety and security.
“Every effort has been made to ensure we have the right resources in place and our close working relationship with Olympic organisers and the military has meant that we are always reviewing security and making sure everyone will be safe and have a wonderful time.”
For more information on the Olympics in Hertfordshire visit www.hertsdirect.org/olympics and follow us on Twitter #HertsOlympics
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