Flaming torches…

I know it’s not Brownhills, but Walsall Council have asked me to post up the following information for anyone travelling around Walsall on Saturday, 30th June. The Olympic Torch Relay will be coming through the borough, and it may pay to read this information through and see if it affects you.

There’s also information for those wishing to watch the torch relay. I must admit, it’s doing nothing for me, but some folk seem quite excited. Hope the British Cycling Team do well this time.

In Walsall, crowds often form around flaming objects, so be prepared for the crowds. Let’s hope they don’t get the torch too close to any old buildings. Jabez-Cliff fire pic by Jake McKay and posted on Flickr. Click to visit Jake’s photo stream.

Walsall Council had this to say:

We are expecting large crowds to line the route the Olympic Torch relay takes through the borough of Walsall on Saturday 30 June. We would suggest that spectators walk, be prepared to walk some distance from their cars or use public transport wherever possible to get to their preferred vantage point. For those who prefer to drive, you may wish to find a parking spot early on, as we think they’ll be snapped up quickly.


Parking will be available at all of the usual car parks. We understand that Walsall College, the Saddlers Centre and the Guru Nanak Gurdwara (Willenhall) are offering free parking on the day. We are contacting supermarkets and other retail centres along the route to advise on how the Relay will pass through, but spectators should bear in mind that rolling road closures may prevent them leaving car parks within relevant parking time limits.

There is to be strictly no parking on the near side of the route. Both Walsall Council and the Police will be enforcing this. West Midlands Police have requested this to ensure the safe and unobstructed passage of the Torch Relay and also in the interests of road safety. This also applies to parking bays on the near side of the route, including, for example, High Street Bloxwich, Somerfield Road, Green Lane, Bridge Street and Wolverhampton Road. The Council has implemented a No Stopping Order along the route for the day. To be clear, this does NOT mean that the route is closed all day; it just means that there’s to be no parking on the near side of the route until the Torch Relay has safely passed by. As a last resort, the Council or Police may have to move vehicles left parked on the route, but with everyone’s help and co-operation for this once in a lifetime event, this will not be necessary.

We advise spectators to turn up early as they may find it difficult to find a parking space. We would also ask residents of streets adjoining the route to be tolerant of an expected influx of spectators parking in their streets. People may park inconsiderately, but it will only be for a short time, so please be patient.

Sorry, it was too good not to use. Cartoon by Royston Robertson.

Road closures

All roads on the route will inevitably experience some disruption and congestion so please allow extra time for journeys.

‘Rolling’ road closures will be in operation as the Torch Relay travels through. We will aim to close the route around 10 minutes before the activation convoy (the sponsors’ vehicles) arrives, to give traffic on the route time to disperse. The torch bearer part of the Relay is expected to be about 15 minutes behind the sponsor vehicles, so this means that rolling road closures on the route itself are likely to last for 30 minutes, or maybe a little longer if the gap between the two parts of the convoy has lengthened.

Once a section of the route has been closed, we will aim to keep cross movement at that junction moving for as long as possible. For example, if you’re travelling from Pelsall towards Wolverhampton, we’ll aim to let you get across the junction by The Bell pub until just a few minutes before the first Torch Relay vehicle comes along. Once we close the roads though, they’re properly closed and only emergency services deploying blue lights will be allowed through.

Some roads will need to close for longer to ensure the safety of the Torch Relay and the public events. Lichfield Street will be closed from the Arboretum junction to Bridge Street from 12.00 to 2pm. Darwall Street and Tower Street will be closed to vehicles for the day.

We will be pretty much closing two sections of the route at a time. As the torch enters the first section, we’ll be closing the third, and so on. We will endeavour to keep a cross movement of traffic at major junctions going for as long as possible.

Staffs County Council is implementing a 3 hour closure of the A34 (Stafford Road/Walsall Road) from the A5 at Churchbridge to the junction with Turnberry Road. This closure is in operation from 10.00 to 1.00pm. Traffic from Bloxwich will not be able to get to Great Wyrley and Cannock on the A34 at this time. It will get as far as Turnberry Road then have no option but to turn left into Turnberry Road.

A34 Stafford Road and High Street from Turnberry Road to Elmore Green Road. Closing at around 11.30. Torch expected to enter the borough at 11.58am and leave High Street Bloxwich around 12.20pm.

Somerfield Road from High Street to Leamore Lane. Closing at around 11.50am.

Torch goes into convoy mode at Leamore Lane junction and continues on the A34 (Green Lane) but there will be nothing to see on this stretch of Green Lane.

Convoy back in torch bearer mode on Green Lane near to the junction with Rayboulds Bridge Road at around 12.30. This road will be closed at around 12.00 with Courtway, Littleton Street West and Littleton Street East closing shortly after that.

Bridge Street (known as Lower Bridge Street) will be closed at 1.30pm. The Bridge, Park Street and Gallery Square don’t need to be closed as they are pedestrianised. However, a barriered route will be laid out on these roads for the torch. Gaps in the barriers will be closed at around 1.30pm. Taxi bays and disabled parking bays will be suspended for the day in Bridge Street.

The main convoy (the vehicles) doesn’t go up Park Street. Instead it uses St Paul’s Street and Townend to re-join the Torch at Wolverhampton Street. This means that buses will be held back for a short time.

Wolverhampton Street will be closed at around 1.25pm, with Wolverhampton Road up to the junction with Primley Avenue being closed shortly afterwards.

The torch crosses junction 10 in convoy mode and starts in torchbearer mode again on Wolverhampton Road West near the junction with Bentley Road North at around 2.10pm. Closures on Wolverhampton Road West will start at around 1.40pm with the section of Crescent Road (where McDonalds is) and then Walsall Road and Walsall Street being closed at around 1.50pm.

New Road and Somerford Place will be closed at around 2pm. There will be no exit from The Keyway at Portobello roundabout for a period of time as the convoy passes over into Wolverhampton.

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