28 June 2012
Drivers using motorways and trunk roads in the East of England are being advised to plan their journeys in advance as the Olympic Torch passes through 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 East for the first time on 3 July heading from Stamford to Peterborough, for the region's first evening celebration. The relay then passes through Norwich, Ipswich, Colchester, Southend, Basildon, Chelmsford, Cambridge, Bedford, St Albans, Luton, Milton Keynes, and Oxford, and many communities in between.
The Highways Agency, which operates the region's strategic road network of motorways and key A roads, is not generally anticipating major delays for drivers.
However, delays are expected on the A12 at Lowestoft on the morning of 5 July and the A5 at Dunstable on the morning of 9 July where closures of these roads are necessary for safety of spectators and safe passage of the Torch. In addition the exit slip roads at M1 junction 11 will be closed for a short while on the morning of the 9 July to allow the torch to pass through the junction on the A505.
Elsewhere, 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.
David Gingell, Highways Agency regional director for the East, said, "Road users who are planning to use routes 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 signs advising drivers when the relay is 'in town'. We will also use our electronic message signs to give drivers information about 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_East"
Highways Agency Traffic Officers will be patrolling the motorways and some trunk roads to clear any incidents quickly, while staff at our regional control centre at South Mimms will be monitoring the network via CCTV and using other state-of-the-art technology to keep traffic moving.
As the Olympic Torch enters the region, the Highways Agency is also calling on road users to help tackle roadside litter and ensure that England's motorways and major roads provide safe and pleasant journeys during the summer of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The Highways Agency is continuing to clear up roadside litter in the run up to the Olympics and is asking road users and local residents to take pride in where they live and to dispose of their litter responsibly. Clearing litter from busy roads such as motorways puts workers at risk and costs money and time that could be far better spent.
Roads in the East managed by the Highways Agency which may be affected by the torch travelling along or near them, or because the routes are near celebration venues, include:
. A1 and A47 near Peterborough on the evening of 3 July,
. A47 near Peterborough on the morning of 4 July,
. A47 near King's Lynn around midday of 4 July,
. A47 and A11 near Norwich on the evening of 4 July
. A47 near Norwich and Acle on the morning of 5 July,
. A12 between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft on the morning of 5 July (including a road closure in Lowestoft),
. A12 and A14 around Felixstowe and Ipswich on the afternoon and evening of 5 July
. A14 near Ipswich on the morning of 6 July
. A12 in Suffolk in the morning of 6 July
. A12 in Essex in the morning, afternoon and evening of 6 July
. A13 in Thurrock in the evening of 6 July
. A120 near Bishops Stortford in the morning of 7 July
. M11 around Junction 8 and Junction 10 around midday of 7 July
. A11 in Cambridgeshire in the afternoon of 7 July
. A14 from Bury St Edmunds to Cambridge in the afternoon and evening of 7 July
. A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon on the morning of 8 July
. A1 and A421 from Huntingdon to Bedford in the morning of 8 July
. A1M from Letchworth to Hatfield from late morning to early afternoon of 8 July
. M1 between St Albans and Luton in the afternoon of 8 July
. M1 and A5 around Luton and Dunstable in the morning of 9 July (including closure of the exit slip roads of the M1 at J11 and a closure of the A5 between the B4540 Kensworth Turn and the A505 Leighton Buzzard bypass)
. A5 between Dunstable and Milton Keynes on the morning of 9 July
. A34 near Oxford in the afternoon of 9 July
. A34 between Oxford and Abingdon in the morning of 10 July
. M4 near Slough and Windsor from midday to early afternoon of 10 July
. M4 near Reading in the evening of 10 July
. M4 near Reading in the morning of 11 July
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