A total of 8,000 torchbearers will carry the Olympic torch through over 1,000 cities, towns and villages in the United Kingdom, with the flame travelling within one hour of 95% of people in its 70-day relay around the UK and today it has arrived in our county.
Today North Yorkshire welcomes the arrival of the flame as it begins its relay across our region. Starting in Middlesborough at 06:23, torchbearerscarried the torch through 23 different regions of the county before it reaches York tomorrow (19 June), finishing its journey of the city at the Racecourse, carried by a local torchbearer on a thoroughbred horse.
Arriving in Yorkshire, the torch will pass by several landmarks, including Richmond Castle and the North York Moors railways, travelling between Whitby, Scarborough, Filey, Hull, Harrogate and Ripon before reaching York.
The torch will begin its journey through York at 5:24pm on Tuesday, leaving York College amongst an entourage of cyclists, runners and vehicles from the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic games.
After leaving the college, the torch makes its way along the city walls and over the River Ouse at Lendal Bridge, before forking off towards St Helens square and along Stonegate, then along other city centre streets including Coney Street, Stonegate, and Low Petergate, towards Bishopgate Road, along Campleshon Road, before turning into York Racecourse at 6:50.
The second day of York’s torch relay sees the torch leave York Minster at 7:44am, before heading under Bootham Bar for the National Railway museum, where it will board a train bound for Thirsk.
To celebrate Tuesday’s arrival of the Olympic torch, York Racecourse will play host to a number of sporting events throughout the day. From 2:30pm, there will be a programme of free taster sessions in various different sporting disciplines, from basketball to cheerleading, as part of a summer push to get people living fitter and healthier. This event is free and all are encouraged to go along and get involved.
During the evening, from 5pm – 7pm, the final of York’s torchbearers, a jockey on a horse, will be welcomed into the racecourse as part of a ticketed celebration event. Tickets are free for this event, which includes music from singer-songwriter Katy B, writer of ‘Anywhere in the world’, the musical centrepiece to Coca-Cola’s promotional campaign for the 2012 Olympics, alongside dance act Twist & Pulse, University of York’s gospel choir Zamar, and African drummers Calasbah and Umbu.
Tickets for these events can be collected from Visit York’s Visitor Information Centre on Museum Street, York Explore Library Learning Centre in Library Square, Acomb Explore on Front Street and Tang Hall Library, Fifth Avenue.
The torch’s cross-city route is likely to cause several road disruptions. Rougier Street to Tower Street will be closed to traffic between 17:45 and 18:30, with the Shambles being closed to both pedestrians and public between these times. York City Council also advise to “allow extra time for your journey as there will be rolling road closures in place about 15 minutes ahead of the cycling escort which will leave York College at 5.15pm on 19 June and the convoy which will leave the Minster at 7.44am on 20 June.” Keep up-to-date on traffic updates at #YorkTorch, while road users are advised to avoid city centre routes during the afternoon of Tuesday 19th and the morning of the 20th.
Keep up to date with the Olympic torch run on Twitter using #OlympicTorch, or catch the televised footage on the BBC.