Tamar Bridge to be closed to traffic while Olympic Flame is carried across
The Tamar Bridge will be shut to traffic while an Olympic flame torchbearer dashes from Cornwall into Devon in an historic scene to hand the baton on.
On the morning of Saturday May 19 the flame will begin its epic journey from Land’s End to London.
By the evening the last Cornish torchbearer will run across the central deck of the bridge.
Cornwall Council jointly owns the bridge with Plymouth City Council and approached London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) to alter the original proposals.
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Initially the final Cornish Torchbearer was to run along the northern cantilever lane while traffic continued to travel across the main part of the Bridge.
However, council chiefs felt moving the torchbearer to the central deck provided an opportunity to showcase this historic moment.
Chris Ridgers, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, said: “We know that the eyes of the world will be on Cornwall. The Tamar Bridge is one of the most recognisable landmarks in the South West and we felt strongly that the torchbearer should be able to run across the main deck to provide a fitting end to this once in a lifetime opportunity.”
The Olympic flame is due to arrive at the Saltash side of the Tamar Bridge at 7.25pm.
The bridge will be briefly closed to traffic to enable the torchbearer to run safely across the main deck.
Nigel Blackler, the council’s head of transportation, waste and environment, said: “We appreciate that the closure of the tunnel and the bridge for a short period of time may cause some disruption to traffic but are putting plans in place to keep this to a minimum.
Emergency vehicles will be able to use the cantilever lane on the bridge throughout.
Both the Saltash Tunnel and Tamar Bridge will be closed to eastbound traffic at 7.10pm.
Westbound traffic will be able to use the southern lane until 7.30pm when the lane will be closed to all traffic until 7.40pm.