Olympic Torch: Thousands expected in Bury

Torch relay logo
Torch relay logo

Thousands are expected to line the streets in Bury St Edmunds when the Olympic flame is carried through the town on Saturday, July 7.

The torch will be carried by 16 torch bearers who will travel from Horringer Road into town and on to Angel Hill before moving on to the Bury St Edmunds Leisure Centre and the West Suffolk Athletics Track.

Here, the town is hosting the Suffolk Youth Games, a showcase of young sporting talent throughout the county and the 1,000 young people taking part will witness the torch complete a half circuit of the track before it lights a lantern and is ‘put away’ into the official convoy carrier and leaves the town for its next leg of the journey to Newmarket.

Guests on the day will include the Rwandan High Commissioner and the Bishop of Kigali as well as the Cycle to Rwanda team, which will have just arrived back from their 7,000 mile fund-raising challenge to Rwanda, raising funds for Rwandan schools.

Bury is hosting the Rwandan Olympic and Paralympic teams pre-games training camps.

Some 80,000 people visit Bury St Edmunds over the three-day Christmas Fayre and markets and St Edmundsbury Borough Council, which is organising the logisitics of the torch’s visit, is expecting at least 20,000 to line the route during a two hour slot.

Cllr John Griffiths, leader of St Edmundsbury, said: “This will be an event of a lifetime. We have hosted some special occasions in Bury St Edmunds but this is by far the most significant.

“Considerable excitement is building and we are expecting thousands of visitors to line the route as the flame passes. We want everyone to enjoy the day and discover what a fantsatic place Bury is.”

The torch arrives in Bury at 3.39pm when it will be taken from the convoy and given to the first torchbearer at Bristol Road after arriving from Haverhill.

It will then travel on to the A143 Horringer Road and into Out Westgate, down Westgate Street with a short call at the Greene King Brewery and then into Crown Street, on to Angel Hill at 4.11pm, then into Mustow Street and on to Northgate Street, Out Northgate, Fornham Road, Tollgate Lane, Beetons Way and to the leisure centre and the West Suffolk Athletics track at around 4.48pm.

There will be a rolling road closure during the torch’s progress lasting around 20 minutes

There will be street entertainers and musicians to keep the crowds around Angel Hill entertained and giveaways by sponsors

Coca Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB.

Parking in Westgate Street, Crown Street, Angel Hill, Northgate Street, the Fornham Road, Tollgate Lane and Beetons Way will be closed from 4pm on Friday, July 6, until 6pm on the Saturday. Residents with parking permits in affected roads have been written to.

The road along Crown Street, Angel Hill and Mustow Street will be shut from mid morning on the Saturday until mid afternoon.

There will be park and walk facilities at Rougham Hill and Bury Rugby Club.