Merton gets set to welcome Olympic Torch

Merton Council is preparing to welcome the arrival of the Olympic Torch in Merton on 23 July 2012.

The torch will travel from Rose Hill roundabout and head up Bishopsford Road at around 3.30pm. From there it will be carried through Mitcham, Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon and Wimbledon Village to the All England Lawn Tennis Club by a series of 30 specially chosen torch bearers.

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) just announced today that TV presenter and former tennis professional Sue Barker will be carrying the Olympic Flame into the Tooting and Mitcham Community Sports Club at 3.34pm as part of the relay.

As the torch passes through the different areas of Merton, there will be outdoor picnic parties taking place at four locations: Mitcham Fair Green, Merton Abbey Mills, South Park Gardens (Wimbledon) and Ricards Lodge School (Wimbledon).

Everyone is invited to come along, bring a picnic and join in the fun. Local community groups will be entertaining the arrival of the torch along the route and will then be joining the picnic and party areas to entertain local people.

The council is calling on residents to get involved and join in the Twitter conversation, telling everyone about what they will be doing to celebrate the arrival of the torch and their experiences on the day by using the hashtag #mertontorch.

Leader of Merton Council Councillor Stephen Alambritis said: “We are encouraging everyone to turn out and welcome the Olympic Torch to Merton. It is going to be a fantastic day and an historic event. We also want everyone to stay safe by keeping on the pavements as traffic will still be flowing. There will be plenty of room along the six-mile route for everyone to be able to see the torch on its way.”

Leader of Merton’s Conservatives Councillor Debbie Shears said: “Having already seen and experienced the huge excitement of being part of this historic relay, I hope hundreds of Merton residents turn out to cheer on the torch as it passes through Mitcham and Wimbledon, and join in the many cultural celebrations along the way.”

Leader of Merton’s Liberal Democrats Councillor Iain Dysart said: ‘After the long build-up, it’s almost here – a once-in-a-lifetime event. It’s time for Merton’s vibrant communities to celebrate the Games and, hopefully success for our talented participants.’

Leader of Merton Park Independents Councillor Peter Southgate said: “With the Olympic Torch passing through Merton only days before the opening ceremony, excitement will be rising on the streets to greet its arrival. We are fully committed to playing our part in the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and look forward to welcoming the Olympic tennis event to the All England courts.”

Information on the torch relay: