The 2012 Olympic Torch.

Walsall prepares for the Olympic Torch

The 2012 Olympic Torch.

Walsall Council is making preparations to ensure the town is safe and welcoming on the day the Olympic Torch comes to the borough.

It is expected to be one of the busiest days in the town’s history when the torch passes through on June 30th and a number of health and safety precautions are being taken to ensure the crowds are protected.

Thousands of people are expected to line the streets as local torchbearers proudly take part in the relay. In Walsall town centre there will be lots of fun activities taking place between 11am and 4pm including dance shows, comedy acts and acrobats and children’s entertainment.

There will also be a series of aquatics events in the Gala Baths including competitions and displays, as well as a variety of family activities in Darwall Street and Leicester Street between 11am and 4pm including freestyle football, zumba, wrestling displays, hockey tournaments and a BMX display.

Officers have been busy working behind the scenes to ensure that the town centre is safe for all of the crowds and that road closures and street barriers are all in place for the big day.

Some of the market  stalls around The Bridge will need to temporarily move for the day to ensure the safety of the public.

“Rolling” road closures will operate on the route as the torch relay procession approaches. Every effort will be made to minimise disruption, but road users should allow for delays of 20 to 30 minutes. Traffic will be allowed back on to the route when the procession has safely passed by.

At the request of West Midlands Police, to ensure the safe and enjoyable passage of the torch, there is strictly no nearside parking along the route of the torch relay. Normal parking restrictions also apply.

Centro has set up a dedicated webpage, which includes all bus diversions that will be in place on the day of the torch relay. Visit www.networkwestmidlands.com for more information.

Councillor Adrian Andrew, cabinet member for regeneration at Walsall Council, said: “This is going to be one of the busiest days in the town’s history and although we want everyone to have a fantastic time, we also want to ensure that members of the public are kept safe at all times.

“As part of preparing the town centre for this excellent event we are proposing to temporarily move a number of the market stalls for one day on June 30th to facilitate the event. We are currently in discussions with the Market Traders Association to ensure the best possible solution is found and that effects on the market operation are minimised. Compensation offers have been made and are currently being considered by the MTA

“I am sure that there are many people in the borough who want the ability to see the torch in their home town and want the torch to pass through the borough and understand that we have to make a few changes for this once in a lifetime event,” he added.

Letters are also being sent out to local businesses this week to advise them of the torch route and gives general safety advice for the day.

There are also lots of fun activities planned in Bloxwich including stilt-walkers, face painting, and lots of fun at Bloxwich Park including performances by local bands, a picnic in the park and a mini sports tournament.

In Willenhall there is set to be an entertainment stage with lots of local acts plus a barbecue, children’s rides, donkey rides, an entertainment bus, poetry workshops, a stilt walker and fire juggler.

Walsall Council would like to hear from you if you are planning on holding an event to celebrate the Olympic Torch coming to Walsall. Email your ideas to walsallfor2012@walsall.gov.uk or call 01922 652821.

Follow them on Twitter too: @walsallfor2012 or Facebook http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Walsall-for-2012/318100061580101