THOUSANDS of Peterborough people will get the chance to give a rousing welcome to the Olympic torch when it is carried in triumph through the city on its way to the London Games on 3rd July.
Organisers have unveiled long-awaited details of the route the torch bearers will take as the Olympic flame passes through Peterborough.
From historic sites such as Peterborough Cathedral to tourist attractions such as The Nene Vally Railway to residential and commercial areas such as Oundle Road and Bridge Street, a range of settings are to be included as part of the torch’s journey through Peterborough.
The details were revealed at a ceremony at the Nene Valley Railway station at Wansford, where the torch will officially start its journey through Peterborough.
Councillor Marco Cereste, leader of Peterborough City Council, said: “It was a real thrill when it was confirmed the torch would come here and now it’s really starting to become a reality. Months of hard work have gone into planning the route to ensure as many residents as possible can be involved and that we show off our beautiful city.
“Today’s announcement really brings the route to life and we know it will encourage people to come out and line the streets.
“Peterborough will be the gateway to the east for the Olympic flame and that’s something the city should be proud of. It’s going to be fantastic to see friends and family carrying the Olympic torch through their own neighbourhood.”
Mayor of Peterborough Cllr Paula Thacker said the wide-reaching route will have people lining the streets “here, there and everywhere”.
She said: “I think it’s wonderful the Torch is coming to Peterborough.”
She added: “Peterborough is a growing city. I think it will help us tremendously and also bring out the crowds to support the torch coming to the city.”
Council head of operations Annette Joyce said the route was a product of a team effort between the authority’s partner agencies and the London 2012 Organising Committee.
She said the chosen route put the people of Peterborough at its heart.
“This route is the one that brought the Olympic torch right through the community.”
She described it as a “fantastic” route, but also acknowledged the gas replacement works in Oundle Road, due to begin today and last for nine months, would be a consideration for organisers.
She said: “We will work with the utilities to ensure that won’t hinder this income event coming to our city.”
Nationally an average of 115 torchbearers a day will carry the Olympic flame on its 8,000 mile journey around the UK. It is not known exactly how many people will be taking part in Peterborough’s leg of the relay.
Miss Joyce said entertainment was being planned for each handover to make it an “iconic moment” for the torchbearers.
One confirmed torchbearer is 18-year-old Charly Sissons, of Essendine, near Rutland, a former student at Stamford College.
Charly was nominated by her father, Steve, for overcoming an eight-month period of ‘hysterical blindness’ brought on by bullying. Not only did she do well in her GCSEs exams but also continued to follow her passion for windsurfing – despite being unable to see.
Charly, who only found out she would be carrying the torch last week, said: “It’s a great honour. I’m still shocked that I was picked for Peterborough.”
She added: “It still hasn’t sunk in. I can’t stop smiling.”
The Torch is due to arrive at Peterborough’s Embankment about at 7.20pm.
A free event will be held on the banks of the River Nene from 5pm to celebrate the Torch coming to the city.
It will feature a performance from hundreds of school children and community groups such as the Peterborough Male Voice Choir of The Song for Peterborough, an original piece written especially for the night.
How Peterborough will figure in an 8,000-mile UK-wide relay
AT 5.15pm on July 3, the Olympic torch will be brought from Burghley House in Stamford to the Nene Valley Railway’s Wansford station where it will be transported by the City of Peterborough steam engine to Orton Mere station.
It will be carried up Oundle Road, turning left on to London Road and over Town Bridge. The flame will be carried on Lower Bridge Street, crossing Bourges Boulevard into Upper Bridge Street before turning right into the Cathedral’s gateway. The relay will pass through Dean’s Court, into Wheel Yard and right into City Road.
The final part of the journey will see the flame pass through St John’s Street, Vineyard Road, Bishop’s Road, then into Rivergate and Embankment Road before arriving at the city’s Embankment at about 7.20pm.
The torch will leave Peterborough on July 4 at about 7am, starting from the Cathedral Precincts. It will travel on Long Causeway and Broadway, across Burghley Square, turn right into Lincoln Road, leaving the city on the A47 via Maskew Avenue. See a map of the route through Peterborough - www.london2012.com
For more torch route timings visit www.london2012.com/olympictorchrelay.
Will you be watching along the route?