Torch route still to be announced

PEOPLE in Scarborough will have to wait until the autumn before they find out whether or not the area has been included in the official route of the Olympic Torch Relay.

Initially it was understood that the final route would be unveiled last month but it was revealed this week that no details would be released until later in the year.

Brian Bennett, Scarborough Council’s head of tourism and culture, said: “The latest update we have is that the exact route of the Olympic Torch Relay will not be announced until November.”

Hopes were raised in May when the overnight stops for the international sporting emblem were announced – it was revealed that the flame would stop in Middlesbrough on June 17, Hull on June 18 and York on June 19 – which suggested a strong possibility of a detour though the Scarborough area.

Cllr David Jeffels, the council’s tourism portfolio holder, said he did not think the delay would make that much of a difference because tourism chiefs had compiled the best possible bid for the area. He added: “I am quite sure that all the signs are there that it will be coming into the borough.

“It is in Middlesbrough overnight and then it goes down to Hull before going over to York. It’s got to come through the borough. It’s going to give Scarborough a marvellous opportunity for national exposure because it will be followed by TV cameras.”

He said that if the torch relay travelled through Whitby, Scarborough and Filey – as well as the wider area of the North York Moors National Park – it would be coming through some “spectacular countryside”. He said: “Hopes are high that we shall be included.”

In February it was revealed that Scarborough Council had submitted a bid which proposed the suitability for the area to be included on the route.

The flame will arrive in the UK on May 18 next year and will tour Britain for 70 days ahead of the games at the end of July – its journey will begin at Land’s End in Cornwall.

The council bid submitted to Olympic bosses highlighted areas of cultural, historical and sporting significance across the area, as well as important landmarks, areas of natural beauty and major events.

If successful, the torch’s route could take in landmarks such as Oliver’s Mount, Peasholm Park and the new Open Air Theatre.

According to the Olympic Games Museum the 1948 torch relay travelled from Greece through Italy, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Belgium, back through France and across the English Channel to Dover before heading to Wembley.