London 2012: Olympic torch relay dress rehearsal plan

Leicester, file pic
Image caption Organisers Locog said the Leicester to Peterborough stretch was selected as it represents a "typical but technically challenging" day

Inspirational students are to take part in a trial run of the 2012 torch relay.

The dress rehearsal will test out operations on the Leicester to Peterborough stretch of the 70-day Olympic torch relay route on 20 April.

Convoy, crew and communications procedures will be tried out on the 80-mile section, which takes in both rural and urban locations.

Students from local colleges and universities will carry unlit torches on the route for the test.

The torch relay begins early on 19 May at Land's End and, after touring the UK, makes its final journey on 27 July through London to the Olympic Park for the opening of the Games.

The test convoy will travel through Quorn, Loughborough, Hoton, Wymeswold, Asfordby, Melton Mowbray, Langham, Oakham, Uppingham and Stamford.

Organisers Locog said the Leicester to Peterborough stretch was selected as it represents a "typical but technically challenging" day of the relay.

Security operations

It also allows every element of the relay to be tested, including convoy splits - when a torchbearer splits from the convoy to take in a route the convoy cannot access - and alternative modes of transport, including a train and a rescue boat.

Procedures that will be tested on the day include timings, convoy movement, radio communications, the collection and drop-off of torchbearers, route markings, traffic management and security operations.

Some 100 people, including students from the Royal College of the Blind, Loughborough College and Leicester, De Montfort, Loughborough and Northampton universities, are to be chosen to take part.

As with official torchbearers, each participant will have an inspirational story and will have their nomination supported by their place of study.

Local authorities from the rehearsal route will also nominate participants.

Locog Chairman Sebastian Coe said test events were a vital part of preparing for different elements of London 2012.

"We are also looking forward to working with the 100 inspirational people who will play an essential role in helping us to test how we will operate during the relay," said Lord Coe.

During the 10-week relay, the torch will be carried by 8,000 torchbearers and will travel about 8,000 miles.

It will fly by zip wire from the Tyne Bridge, ascend Snowdon by rail and cross Loch Ness during its journey around the UK. Locog say the torch will come within 10 miles of 95% of the population.

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