Traffic warning as city awaits arrival of Olympic Torch

The Olympic rings on The Mound
The Olympic rings on The Mound
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Traffic restrictions are to be imposed on the Forth Road Bridge as the London 2012 Olympic Torch arrives in the Capital amid a convoy of 50 vehicles.

The torch will make its way south from Dunfermline to Hopetoun House on Wednesday and is scheduled to cross the bridge at 4.26pm.

Southbound traffic will be stopped for five minutes while northbound traffic will be subject to a rolling roadblock. The bridge will be closed to cyclists and pedestrians from 1pm onwards.

Runners will carry the torch from Gorgie Road at Stenhouse Drive, setting off at 5.45pm, arriving at Edinburgh Castle at around 7.35pm.

The Mound, Market Street, North Bank Street, Bank Street and George IV Bridge will be closed to the public from 6.30pm onwards.

Songstress Emeli Sande is set to play in front of 8500 fans at Edinburgh Castle to celebrate the visit.

Olympic-related activities will be held courtesy of Coca-Cola, Bank of Scotland and Samsung, including having your photograph taken with the London 2012 Torch.

Towards the end of the two-hour show, the last torchbearer of the day will light a celebration cauldron on stage which will enable the Olympic flame to be seen by the audience.

Deputy council leader Steve Cardownie said: “The streets are going to be lined with people and the torch arriving will focus everyone’s attention on the Games. The city council has embraced the arrival of the Games and we did everything we could to find a suitable site for the Olympic Rings.

“I’m sure that it will be a great event and something that the torchbearers will remember for the rest of their lives.”

On Thursday, the relay continues with the torch leaving Festival Square at 7.08am, where it will be carried to Duddingston Village through Lothian Road, High Street, Pleasance, and then on to Milton Road and by vehicle convoy to Musselburgh.

It will then make its way through Dalkeith, Lasswade, Loanhead, Bilston, Milton Bridge and Penicuik.

Thousands lined the streets as the Olympic torch arrived in Scottish soil for the first time and was carried from Stranraer to Glasgow.

A total of 8000 people will carry the flame during its 8000-mile, 70-day journey to the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in London on July 27.

A London 2012 spokeswoman said: “Thank you to everyone who has supported the torchbearers on the first day of the Relay in Scotland.

“We are looking forward to the rest of our journey and involving many more thousands of people in the celebration of Scotland’s heroes and places of interest.

“The Olympic Flame reaching Edinburgh on Wednesday for our last evening in Scotland is set to be a highlight of the 70-day tour.”

Rings pull crowds ahead of unveiling

THE Giant Olympic Rings were already drawing a crowd after they were put in place on The Mound,

Two days ahead of the official unveiling the sculpture was already the centre of attention. The five 26ft rings were put on The Mound despite protests from heritage groups and local campaigners.

It had originally been planned to put a similar sculpture on the side of Edinburgh Castle until a huge wave of public opposition saw that plan scrapped.

Among those taking pictures of the new sculpture yesterday – under the watchful eye of two security guards – was Rowan Hagdorn, 34, a mother of two who said: “They don’t fit in with the architecture very well but they look interesting and colourful”