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North Devon prepares for Torch fever



[Friday 27 April 2012]

London 2012 torch relay logo

With the arrival of the Olympic Torch drawing ever closer, final preparations are being made to ensure that North Devon is ready to welcome the Olympic Flame.

On Monday 21 May 2012, the eyes of the world will be on North Devon, as the Olympic Torch Relay will be carried through Barnstaple, Braunton, Knowle, Ilfracombe, Combe Martin and Lynton & Lynmouth.

North Devon Council has been working closely with the police and Devon County Council Highways to ensure that the Torch passes safely and smoothly through the district. As well as council officers, volunteer stewards from local parishes along the route have also been recruited to manage the crowds that are expected to gather in each town to watch the Torch Relay.

The Torch convoy will be made up of 15 vehicles, making their way slowly through each community. There will be rolling road closures along the route approximately 30 minutes in advance of the Torch. However, the roads along some sections of the route will be closed for some time before the Torch arrives for safety reasons.

In Barnstaple, the road from Long Bridge to Taw Vale will be closed from 10am until midday to pedestrianise the Square in preparation for the 3,000 school children expected to view the arrival of the Torch on The Strand.

With The Strand designated for children, spectators in Barnstaple are therefore being encouraged to head to Sticklepath Hill, North Walk or Rolle Street for a glimpse of the Torch and to cheer on the Torchbearers.

Executive Member for Culture, Councillor Derrick Spear, says: "We want as many people as possible to line the streets and cheer on the Torchbearers as they carry the Olympic Flame through North Devon. So local residents need to plan where they intend to watch the Torch and avoid those places that have been allocated to schools.

"It's also important to understand that when the convoy of vehicles is making its way between towns, you won't be able to see the Torch - only when the Torch is being carried within each community will there be anything to see.

"Obviously, with so many vehicles involved, we want to make sure that spectators are kept safe, so those watching need to stand well back from the road and keep a close eye on small children."

For more information about the Olympic Torch Relay, including a map showing the Torch arrival times in each town and on which streets the Torch will be visible, visit www.northdevon.gov.uk/london2012.
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