14.7.2012 The Olympic Torch Comes to Southampton


Image Courtesy of Jamie Ryder-Phillips

As part of its 8,000 mile tour of the United Kingdom, the Olympic Torch will reach Southampton on Saturday 14th July and will leave early Sunday morning, but where is it set to go in the city and how will local residents be affected?

This is the torch’s second trip to Hampshire, after first arriving on Wednesday and visiting Basingstoke, Winchester and Andover, it finally reaches Southampton on Saturday. The Torch will be transported from East Cowes on the Isle of Wight by ferry and will arrive at the docks at around 5:40pm.

Fourteen Hampshire residents will be running with the torch, the youngest being Kyle Jones age 12 and the oldest Jim Dowdall age 86, both of whom are from Southampton. To gain a personal perspective on the epic journey, take a look at the profiles and inspiring stories of all those Southampton Torchbearers here.

Where to see the torch?

Runners will carry the torch from the ferry forecourt, through Town Quay and up to Bargate. After this, the torch will be carried to St Mary’s Stadium and the torch bearers will lap the pitch at approximately 6:30pm. Runners will then make their way down Marine Parade and should arrive on Queensway at around 6:40pm. The torch will be run back through Town Quay and arrive in Mayflower Park at 6:49pm.

For a map of Saturday’s Route around Southampton, look here.

Here is an overview of the torch’s location using the approximate times given by the council:

5:40pm – Arrive in Southampton via Red Funnel

5:46pm – High Street

5:49pm – Above Bar Street

6:08pm – New Road

6:10pm – Palmerston Road

6:21pm – St Mary’s Stadium

6:25pm – Lap of the Stadium

6:28pm – Marine Parade

6:39pm – Queensway

6:44pm – High Street

6:49pm – Mayflower Park

If you’re awake at 6am on Sunday Morning, the torch will be carried from Guildhall Square to The Avenue and from there will travel in Convoy Mode to the Airport, from which it will be flown to the Channel Islands.

Southampton City Council approximate these times for the torch’s route on Sunday 15th July:

6:05am – Guildhall Square

6:05am – West Marlands Rd.

6:07am – Above Bar Street

6:11am – London Road

6:13am – The Avenue (A33)

Organisers have asked spectators to remember that the torch relay is a live event and that theses timings are therefore an estimate.

Effect on Local Services

Southampton City Council are expecting large numbers of onlookers, and are advising people to stay off the roads and suggest public transport as an alternative means of travel. Live updates concerning car parking will be available here, however it is suggested that more time than usual be allocated by visitors for their journey into the city.

The relay will operate using ‘rolling’ road closures, with portions of roads being closed to allow the Olympic torch safe passage through a specific area before being re-opened. The council states that ‘experience from other cities suggests that roads are open and back to normal within 30 minutes of the departure of the Torch’.

Fixed road closures are also in place on 14th from 5pm to 7pm. They include Bargate Street, West Bargate, Hanover Buildings from West Bargate to Vincent’s Walk and Palmerston Road from Pound Tree to Hanover Buildings. The council also advise that West Marlands street will be closed between 5am and 7am on 15th July.

Guests and residents should also expect slight changes to bus times as a result of the relay, and the council suggest contacting bus operators for further information.

Below are the contact details provided by Southampton City Council for such operators.
Blue Star – 023 8023 1950
First Group – 023 8022 4854
Uni-Link – 023 8059 5974

More information about the event can be found on:
Southampton City Council’s Website and on the BBC.


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