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2012 Olympics - How Will It Impact Croydon?

March 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 182

The 2012 Olympics are just around the corner and we are asking - what impact, if any, will it have on Croydon?

With less than a year to go until the greatest sporting event on earth arrives in the capital, Croydon is in danger of becoming a cultural wasteland as there are no planned Olympic events taking place here. You would expect Croydon, having one of the biggest populations just outside of London, to be having a significant role in the 2012 Olympic Games.

Croydon would have been a perfect staging area for holding Olympic events as it has huge amounts of land to regenerate. Plus it has the bonus of having a fully integrated transport system with great links to London and all other Olympic sites.

Sadly however, at this time Croydon is an Olympic-free zone. Why is this you ask yourselves?

Certain people in power in the ranks of Croydon council have put paid to that dream. Croydon council has decided to save money on fantastic events like the 2012 Olympics. Saying it is just for the capital (London and local areas surrounding it) and would have no benefit for Croydon, its people and businesses. Nevertheless the people of Croydon, just as Londoners, are paying for the 2012 Olympics games to be showcased here.

Croydon Council's antipathy towards the Olympics dates back to 2006, when Steve Hollands - then Croydon's shadow cabinet member for Culture and Sport, dismissed plans for an Olympic cycle-way and footpath from Croydon to the site of the 2012 park in east London as a costly gimmick. He viewed the plan as a publicity stunt designed to bolster support for the games in an area of London unlikely to see much direct benefit from the Olympics. Councillor Hollands said:

"Other than publicity I'm not sure if it will bring much to Croydon. In theory it's a good idea but if you can cycle from Croydon to east London then you should be competing in the Olympics."

Given a new type of vision and imagination from our 'leaders', the Olympics ought to be a massive opportunity for the city of Croydon. Having the potential for increased profits for hotels, restaurants, retail and leisure industries; and an enhancement of job opportunities. It could also generate a massive boost to Croydon's economy as there is the possibility of a premium of wealth to be had that once gained could be reinvested back into Croydon and its people. Croydon could become a hub for many visitors from the rest of Britain and around the world - boosting local businesses. Who knows, if they liked it here enough, some might even come back.

Is this going to be another missed opportunity for Croydon?

However, there is some good news to be had for Croydon and the London Olympics 2012, as the Olympic torch is set to travel through Croydon and Surrey.

The Olympic torch will spend a day travelling through Surrey next year on its route across the country to London's Olympic Stadium. The torch which represents peace, unity and friendship will be carried by 8,000 inspirational Torchbearers during the Olympic Torch Relay as it makes its way across the UK on a 70-day journey that will bring the excitement of the games to the masses.

The flame will pass through nine towns in Surrey on July 20. The towns and villages it will visit include Dorking and Redhill in the east of the county to Shere, Guildford and Godalming in the south. The torch will travel across the country via horseback, bicycle, tram and steam-train, as well as by road and rail.

The next part of the journey will see the flame travel through Croydon, Sutton, Merton, Wandsworth, Bromley and Lewisham on July 23 as it makes its way around the Greater London boroughs on the final days of the 70-date relay.

It is worth highlighting here, that once again, Croydon and Surrey are not getting equal access or opportunities to experience this potentially outstanding event as the torch will spend far longer in other areas in the country, including four days in Kent alone and visiting almost 40 towns, cities and villages there.

Nevertheless Lord Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games stated "I'm delighted that the Olympic torch relay will take the 2012 Games to almost every corner of the UK. Now everyone is invited to plan their welcome and find out where they can go to be part of this historic occasion."

The street-by-street detail of the route will be confirmed next year. However, here is an outline of its planned journey:

• The Olympic torch will be lit in Olympia in Greece in May, and flown to the UK.

• The relay will begin in Land's End in Cornwall on May 19, and continue for an estimated 8,000 miles around the UK, carried by 8,000 torchbearers picked because of a 'personal achievement' or contribution to their community.

• It will take in 1,018 towns, cities and villages, and organisers say it will be within an hour's journey of 95% of the UK population.

• On the final day of the relay, July 27, the torch will travel down the River Thames to the Olympic Stadium, where it will be used to light the cauldron at the opening ceremony.

Denise Saliagopoulos, Surrey County Council cabinet member for the 2012 Games, said: "The fact the torch relay will visit so many Surrey towns and villages over three days next summer is a thrilling prospect."

Where you will be able to see the Olympic torch in Surrey and South London:

Friday July 20, 2012

• Godstone

• Bletchingley

• Redhill

• Reigate

• Dorking

• Westcott

• Shere

• Godalming

• Guildford

Monday July 23

• Lewisham

• Bromley

• Croydon

• Sutton

• Merton

• Wandsworth

• Kingston

by psc

Source: EzineArticles
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