Suffolk’s Olympic chiefs have called on businesses across the county – and in particular in the 16 towns and villages to be visited by the flame – to think about what they can do to prepare for and capitalise on the spectacle which has so far attracted crowds in excess of 100,000 people a day.
Making the call as part of ‘make sure you’re ready day’, Cllr Colin Noble, Suffolk County Council’s cabinet member responsible for sport and the London 2012 Games, said:
“We’ve already seen the public interest the Olympic torch is creating and we want our local businesses to be able to make the most of that.
“The first thing to do is check whether the torch will be passing near to your business. If so, then it really is worth thinking about what needs to be done so that you can ensure things run smoothly and you’re in the best possible position to capitalise on the opportunity.
“A few small checks and plans made now could make all the difference on the day.”
Issues to think about include:
Staff – Will their travel to work be affected and do they need to make other plans?
Customers – Should we open earlier, hold more stock or change appointments?
Parking – Will normal parking access be affected?
Meetings – Will visitors coming for meetings get delayed?
Deliveries and waste – Will my usual deliveries or collections be affected?
Every day of the Olympic torch relay so far has attracted large crowds eager to be part of it as it passes through their local area.
Roads along some sections of the route may be closed for some time before the torch arrives and until it has passed. There will also be a ‘rolling road closure’ moving with the torch. Traffic control arrangements have been designed to ensure that traffic flows return to normal as quickly as possible after the convoy has passed. Traffic marshals and stewards will be positioned along the route to offer help, advice and directions.
About 5-10 minutes before the torch arrives, various sponsors’ vehicles will travel past giving out freebies and getting the crowds ready for the main event.
To help keep the residents and businesses up to date with the torch relay’s route to, and through, Suffolk, the county’s councils and police force will be using the social media website Twitter to send out regular news. Updates will also be available on the organisations’ websites and by contacting them by telephone directly.
Advice on planning for the torch relay has been published on Suffolk County Council’s website. It can be downloaded here: www.suffolk.gov.uk/readyforthetorch.