Lord Coe refuses to budge on Olympic flame route

THE OLYMPIC Organising Committee is refusing to budge on re-routing the path of the Olympic Torch which is missing out both Arbroath and Carnoustie.

In the lead up to the London 2012 games, the flame is going on a tour of the UK, which is estimated will come within 10 miles of 95 per cent of the population.

However, both Arbroath and Carnoustie have been snubbed as the only nearby stop off points are Montrose, Brechin, Forfar and Dundee, more than 10 miles away.

Angus South MSP Graeme Dey was unhappy the torch is barely entering into his constituency and missing two vital landmarks including Arbroath Abbey and Glamis Castle.

He wrote to chairman of the Olympic Organising Committee Lord Sebastian Coe, to ask him to reconsider.

However, in his reply Lord Coe stated the route would not be changed.

In a letter to Mr Dey, he said: “Thank you for your letter about the Olympic torch relay and your wish to see it stop at Arbroath Abbey and Glamis Castle.

“Now with just six months to go until the arrival of the flame on May 18, 2012, my team are undertaking the final stages of detailed operational planning with the host local authorities and transport and security partners.

“This means changes to the route are not possible.

“I understand your disappointment that the Olympic Flame will stop at any towns in Angus South. However, this does not stop you and your constituents from celebrating the Olympic Torch Relay as it passes through the county of Angus.”

And Mr Dey was disappointed nothing could be done to alter the route.

He explained: “I am disappointed by the stance taken by Sebastian Coe on this issue. 

“Whilst appreciating the difficulties faced in plotting a route which satisfied everyone I would have loved to have seen Arbroath Abbey and/or Glamis Castle included.

“By way of a compromise I further suggested to officials directly involved in planning the Torch Relay that they might consider taking a slight detour from their planned progress from Forfar to Meigle and go through Glamis village to allow people the chance to gather safely to witness the event but I was told no.

“It seemed to me a reasonable, and easy to grant, request but unfortunately the organisers held a different view.”