Date: 20/06/2012 Category: 2012 year of celebration
The Olympic flame will pass through the streets of Medway on Friday, 20 July – just one week before the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Games.
Thousands of residents are expected line the streets to cheer on the 21 inspirational people, including four from Medway, who have been granted the honour of carrying the torch in the 8,000 strong chain linking towns, villages and cities across the country with the Olympic Stadium in Stratford.
The torch will come out of its coach convoy, and will start on foot in Canterbury Street, Gillingham around 7.50am, and will continue through Gillingham, Chatham, Rochester and Strood, finishing around 9.30am.
The route, which has been set by the Olympics committee LOCOG, requires a number of temporary road closures to ensure the event takes place safely, but routes affected will be re-opened as soon as it is safe to do so, and this will be done as quickly as possible.
Motorists are advised to expect traffic congestion as the torch relay passes through, and to find alternative routes where possible and allow plenty of extra time for their journeys. Residents wishing to watch the relay should plan to be in position along the route at least 45 minutes in advance.
Buses will not be able to use Chatham Waterfront Bus Station from 7.45am for approximately one hour.
Some services will be terminating early at locations on the outskirts of Chatham at Chatham Rail Station, Chatham Tesco and the Dockside Outlet Centre during this time. They will be operating to an amended timetable or re-routed to avoid congestion. Passengers planning to travel on buses during these times are advised to check with bus operators in advance, and expect delays.
The Sir John Hawkins car park, at the top of Waterfront Way, will be closed from midnight (apart from spaces for disabled drivers), as it will be used as a temporary bus layover area during the torch relay. However passengers will not be able to get on or off buses in the Sir John Hawkins car park.
Residents and businesses are being notified of arrangements and access for the emergency services will be maintained at all times.
The Leader of Medway Council Cllr Rodney Chambers said: “We want everyone to witness and enjoy this once in a lifetime opportunity of seeing the Olympic torch come through Medway, and we are expecting that a very large number of residents will line the streets to welcome the torch. An event of this scale will inevitably have a significant impact on traffic and bus services for a short time. So I would urge everyone to please plan their journeys accordingly which will help us to minimise disruption and ensure a safe and memorable day for everyone.”
Further information is available on the council’s website, www.medway.gov.uk/torchrelay
For the latest information on route timings visit www.london2012.com/torch-relay
Notes for editors
The Torch Relay route:
Canterbury Road from Crosley Road
High Street, Gillingham
High Street, Chatham
St Margaret's Street
High Street, Strood
Castle View Rd
Gravesend Rd to 'Thank you for visiting Medway' sign