06 June 2012
Road users in Yorkshire and the North East are being advised to plan their journeys as the Olympic Torch Relay arrives in Berwick-upon-Tweed next week on the first leg of a two part tour of the region.
The Highways Agency is suggesting drivers familiarise themselves with the Olympic Torch Relay timetable – available at www.london2012.com - and expect delays if they are planning to travel near relay venues, including towns and cities hosting evening celebrations.
The Olympic Torch arrives in the North East for the first time late on Thursday afternoon (14 June) heading to Alnwick, via Berwick-upon-Tweed and Bamburgh, for the region’s first evening celebration after a day in eastern Scotland.
The Highways Agency, which operates the region’s strategic road network, including motorways and key A roads, is not anticipating major delays for drivers. However, drivers may find the Olympic Torch in a police-led motorised convoy on the strategic road network at times and should also be aware that several of the relay stages may affect journeys just off motorways and major trunk roads.
Drivers are also being asked to be aware of extra traffic heading into the region’s towns and cities for Olympic Torch Relay celebrations.
Vanessa Gilbert, Highways Agency regional director for Yorkshire and the North East, said, “Road users who are planning to use routes in Yorkshire and the North East near relay venues can help us to help them by planning their journey in advance and leaving extra time to complete journeys.
“Where appropriate we’ve asked our contractors to put out hard signs advising drivers when the relay is ‘in town’. We will also use our electronic message signs to give drivers information about any diversions and delays, and provide up-to-the minute information about traffic conditions on the motorways and other major roads we manage using local radio.
“People can use a range of Highways Agency mobile services to check the traffic conditions on these routes before they leave or when parked - they include an iPhone app, mobile website and regular updates on our Twitter feed at @HAtraffic_neast and @HAtraffic_yorkshire.”
Highways Agency Traffic Officers will be patrolling the motorways throughout Yorkshire and the North East to clear any incidents quickly, while staff at our regional control centre at Calder Park near Wakefield will be monitoring the network via CCTV and using other state-of-the-art technology to keep traffic moving.
After Thursday’s evening celebration in Alnwick, the Torch makes its way south to evening celebrations in Newcastle, Durham, Middlesbrough, Hull and York before leaving the region late afternoon on Wednesday 20 June towards an evening celebration in Carlisle.
Roads managed by the Highways Agency which may be affected next week and the week after because the torch is travelling along or near them or because the routes are near celebration venues include:
• A1 outside Alnwick early Thursday evening with a relay leg starting on the B1340 just off the A1and the town hosting an evening celebration • A1 and A19 around Newcastle late afternoon Friday (15 June) with an evening celebration in Newcastle and a Westlife concert at the Metro Radio Arena • A19 near Sunderland on Saturday 16 June with a Torch celebration at Herrington Country Park • A66 and A19 around Middlesbrough early evening Sunday 17 June with a relay starting at the end of the Highways Agency section of the A66 and the town hosting an evening celebration • A63 Hedon Road and A63 Garrison Road at Hull early evening on Monday 18 June with an evening celebration in the city and a relay leg taking in the A1033 Mount Pleasant North roundabout where it meets the A63 • A63 Garrison, Castle and Hessle Roads with a relay leg leaving The Deep out of Hull early morning Tuesday 19 June which may affect incoming commuters and docks traffic • A64 south of York early evening Tuesday 19 June with an evening celebration in and a relay leg starting along the A1036 Tadcaster Road just off the A64 at Askham Bar.
The Torch comes back to the region, visiting more Yorkshire and Humberside communities, from Sunday 24 June with evening celebrations in Leeds and Sheffield and Cleethorpes before heading for Lincoln on Wednesday 27 June.
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