Peterborough: Olympic Torch Rehearsal

20 April 2012, 06:00 | Updated: 20 April 2012, 11:38

The Olympic Torch will pass through Peterborough today (Friday) as part of a dress rehearsal for the national torch route later this year.

The torch convoy, made up of around 450 people and 15 vehicles, will set off from Leicester in the morning before reaching Peterborough in the evening.

A total of 122 torchbearers will carry the torch at different points along the route. 

Due to Olympic rules the torch will not be lit.

The route between Leicester and Peterborough was chosen for the rehearsal because of the complexity of switch-overs of the torch at various points.

Traffic Disruption.

These include locations when the torch will be exchanged on vehicles such as trains and boats, or taken through a pedestrianised area while the convoy remains on a road.

There will be a number of road closures in Peterborough when the torch relay passes through the city.

The following information has been taken from the Peterborough City Council website:

From 6.35pm, residents are being advised to expect traffic delays particularly when the convoy travels along Oundle Road escorted by police after leaving Orton Mere Station.

As the convoy makes it way to the Embankment, it will travel along London Road and then split from the torchbearers at the junction of Rivergate and Bridge Street.

The torchbearers will run along Bridge Street, where barriers will be erected to allow the carriers a smooth passageway through the city centre, before turning right through the Cathedral’s gateway. 

The torch will then be taken along Deans Court, into Wheel Yard and right into City Road.

The convoy will continue along Rivergate into Bishops Road, and then onto St John’s Road. 

The convoy will go around the roundabout at the junction of Boongate, back along St John’s Road and will meet the torchbearer at the entrance to City Road.

The torchbearer will then lead the convoy onto the Embankment at 7.20pm.

Between 6.30pm and 7pm, traffic approaching the city centre on Bishop’s Road will not be allowed to turn left into Rivergate, while traffic on Bourges Boulevard will not be allowed to turn right into Rivergate.

Patrons attending the Key Theatre on Friday 20 April will be allowed access to the Riverside car park but are urged to leave more time for their journey. 

The Bishop’s Road car park will be closed all day on Friday to accommodate LOCOG’s support vehicles.

Annette Joyce, Head of Commercial Operations for Peterborough City Council, said: "Peterborough is used to hosting big events so we are well prepared for the Olympic Torch dress rehearsal and it will give us all a taste of what to expect on 3 and 4 July when the actual Relay takes place. 

Because of the size of the operation delays to traffic will be inevitable, but they will only be for a few minutes. 

We have put warning signs up along the route and we will look to get the traffic moving normally again as soon as possible."

Carrying The Torch.

Two sixth-formers from Peterborough will be carrying the Olympic torch during the dress rehearsal.

James MacNichol and Zayn Bhatty, both 18, who go to Nene Park Academy, have been selected by The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. 

James, who is studying A-level business and English literature as well as a B-TEC in sport studies, said: "I am really looking forward to Friday.

It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and I feel so lucky to be taking part."

Zayn, who is studying A-level business, PE and geography, said: “I feel extremely privileged to be taking part in this dress rehearsal.

James and I have got our uniforms and we will both be really proud to wear them as we carry the Olympic Torch through Peterborough."