Corporate, General, Olympics

Torch relay cheered across Surrey

The Olympic torch relay in Surrey. Click image to download

Around 161,500 people lined the streets of Surrey to catch a glimpse of the Olympic torch relay travelling across the county.

From Godstone to Guildford, cheering crowds delighted in seeing a slice of Olympic history unfold on their doorsteps on Friday.

More than 50 torchbearers carried the flame on day 63 of its journey around the UK, including Austin Playfoot, 82, from Elstead, who carried the torch the last time the Games came to the UK in 1948.

Celebrity torchbearers included former British athlete Roger Black, who carried the flame in Godalming.

Starting in Godstone at about 1.40pm, the relay made its way through the towns and villages of Godstone, Bletchingley, Redhill, Reigate, Dorking, Westcott, Shere and Godalming, before reaching Guildford for a night of celebration in Stoke Park.

Along with the torch relay, Surrey will host the men’s and women’s Olympic road cycling races on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July, as well as the cycling time trials on Wednesday 1 August. Detailed maps of all the routes are available online at gosurrey.info.

Preparations have been going on for more than two years to ensure the Games in Surrey are a success. Inevitably events on an Olympic scale will cause disruption, which is why residents and businesses are being asked to plan ahead and be prepared.

Extensive road closures and parking restrictions will be in place around the cycle routes from the early hours of the morning on event days.

The aim is to reopen most roads three hours after the last race vehicle passes. It is expected to take longer in areas where there will be larger crowds such as around Dorking town centre, Hampton Court, Leatherhead town centre and Box Hill.

With hundreds of thousands of people expected to watch the Olympic events in Surrey, getting around will be difficult, which is why people are advised to stay close to their local areas and walk. Even after the events finish, the county’s roads and public transport will be very busy for some time as people make their way home.

Newsletters have been sent to residents and businesses within 100 metres of the cycle race and time trial routes to provide people with the information they need to prepare. All that information, plus everything else people in Surrey need to know to prepare for the Games, is available at gosurrey.info.

Helyn Clack, Surrey County Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services and the 2012 Games, said: “The message is simple – be prepared and plan ahead to enjoy the Olympic Games in Surrey and to minimise the inevitable disruption that staging events of this size will bring.

“Journeys will take longer than usual, roads will be closed and public transport will be busier than usual. We’ve provided all the information people need to plan their journeys and we would urge them to use it.

“The Games have already brought huge economic, cultural and sporting benefits to Surrey and are a once on a lifetime opportunity to watch Olympic history unfold literally on our doorsteps. With some planning and foresight we can all enjoy it.”

Visit www.gosurrey.info for more information on the Olympic Games in Surrey.

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