Torch set to blaze into centre in July

The Olympic Flame is set to blaze a trail through the city centre for more than two hours this summer it has been announced.

The final details of the route which the flame will take were announced earlier this week, which means residents and businesses along the way can now start planning their arrival party.

The Chichester leg of the route is on July 16, and it will start in Lavant Road, Lavant at 11.50am after travelling through the north of the district in the morning.

From Lavant it will travel down Broyle Road and cut through Oaklands Park and around Chichester Festival Theatre, before heading down North Street towards The Cross.

It then turns left into East Street, and then along St Pancras, into Westhampnett Road, before finishing at the Portfield Roundabout on the A27.

It then moves on to Bognor Regis where it starts its next route at 1.58pm.

Andy Marcou from Andy’s Fish Bar in St Pancras, was delighted it will be passing right outside his shop.

“I’m trying to come up with ideas of how we can dream up a bit of support for the flame,” he said.

“I thought it might go down The Hornet and on to Bognor that way, I’m quite chuffed it’s coming down here.”

Rebecca Parkhouse, owner of The Bazaar in East Street said: “I think it will be amazing to have that coming outside our shop.

“It will be great to support it and I am sure it will bring a lot of people in the town which will be quite a benefit for the businesses.”

Mariann Hellyer from S and L Flowers in East Street said although she will be on holiday her colleagues will no doubt join in the event.

“I think we should have a street party,” she said. “That would be fantastic.

“We are probably going to have some bunting on the windows, we will try our best.

“It’s just one of those things you’re never going to see again in your life time.”

Councillor Eileen Lintill, cabinet member for leisure and wellbeing at Chichester District Council said: “Monday 16 July gives us the opportunity to celebrate on the world stage the work and dedication that these people demonstrate on a daily basis.

“For the majority of us, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we want to encourage our local communities to help us to showcase what our district has to offer.

“The Olympic Torch Relay will involve many of the district’s attractions including Petworth House, the Cass Sculpture Park and a lunch time stop at the Chichester Festival Theatre. We also want to highlight the many sport and leisure opportunities that are available within the district.

“We want residents to be aware that the Olympic Flame will only be carried by the Torchbearers within the seven communities identified.

“It will travel in a vehicle at normal road speeds between each stop.”