Saturday, July 7, 2012
MOTORISTS have been warned to expect traffic delays tomorrow (Sunday) as the Olympic Torch Relay passes through Welwyn Garden City and Hatfield.
Delays are expected across the borough, due to the temporary holding of traffic as the relay convoy passes by.
However, gridlocked roads are unlikely as the police will organise minor rolling closures on Sunday.
The Olympic Flame arrived in Hertfordshire today (Saturday), travelling through Waltham Cross, Hertford, Ware and Bishop’s Stortford before crossing back into Essex and then Suffolk on its way to overnight destination Cambridge.
The Torch returns to the county on Sunday, passing through Letchworth Garden City, Stevenage, Welwyn Garden City, Hatfield, St Albans and Hemel Hempstead en route to Luton in Bedfordshire.
With thousands expected to line the streets, police have issued a reminder to drivers to expect tailbacks in roads close to the Torch Relay route.
Herts Police’s official Twitter site @HertsPolice tweeted: “Please be patient today with traffic delays and road closures as the #OlympicTorch passes through Hertfordshire”
Welwyn Hatfield Council’s Olympic co-ordinator Matt Rayner said: “Intelligence from around the country tells us that traffic will quite swiftly begin to move again once the closures are lifted.
“However, the Olympic Torch Relay will pass through the borough at a speed of 4mph, while it’s running.
“It is due to take around 40 minutes to make its way through each town, therefore, we expect tailbacks of up to an hour for vehicles stuck in traffic.
“If you do plan to come into WGC or Hatfield on July 8, we suggest you make your way to town before noon to try to avoid the crowds and traffic.”
Residents are advised to leave their cars at home and walk to see the Torch Relay and the events taking place in both town centres.
Mr Rayner said: “If you do plan to come into WGC or Hatfield, please consider your transport options. If you don’t need to use a car to travel, then please don’t.
“The best way to visit is on foot if at all possible, that way you will not get stuck in any traffic.
“Alternatively, please consider public transport – train or bus. Although, please note that buses will be subject to the same levels of traffic as car passengers.”