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Default How many vehicles does it take to escort one Olympic flame on 300 yard dash? 47!

The first thing you see is a police motorcyclist riding slowly along the route.
Next come a couple of patrol cars, a BMW in Olympic torch livery of white and gold, and maybe a Range Rover carrying local VIPs.

There’s a brief lull. And then it begins. For the next ten minutes or so, a convoy of buses, cars, trucks, police cyclists and outriders – plus another brace of BMWs – filters at walking pace through crowded streets.
The trucks bear dancers or excitable types bellowing enthusiastically through loud hailers. Even the cops wave extravagantly at the throng as they pass.



Convoy: The Olympic flame is carried near Okehampton yesterday before Rap singer Will.i.am ran in Taunton


We’re somewhere on the Olympic flame’s journey around Britain – and the nation’s most blatant mobile traffic jam has just come to town.

For although there’s almost certainly a torch-bearer running proudly along the street somewhere, he or she is fighting for space against the extraordinary cavalcade that will be trundling along the 8,000-mile route for the next 66 days.

More...

  • Burnt out after just three days and 115 miles: Flame of ‘malfunctioning’ Olympic torch extinguishes itself...but unofficial relay flame burns brightly
  • Here comes the Olympic torch... oh no, it's a Co-op shoplifter with a plundered bottle of rosé

So how many vehicles does it take to marshal a single Olympic flame for a 300-yard dash? Answer: 47. I counted them all in, and I counted them all out.

There are 16 ‘core vehicles’ assigned to accompany the torch for its epic journey – which last night saw the unlikely figure of US rap star Will.i.am, the Black Eyed Peas singer and a judge on BBC talent show The Voice, carrying it through Taunton.

But everywhere the procession goes, a small army of support and ancilliary vehicles is also called into service. In Cornwall on Saturday, for example, the convoy was escorted by police motorcyclists bearing the emblems of five separate constabularies. In south Devon, an ambulance, local dignitaries, firearms officers and police ‘safety officers’ on BMW mountain bikes joined the parade.

The advance party of sponsors' vehicles passed through the village of Modbury


It was a similar turnout yesterday in north Devon and Somerset, with a bomb disposal team in the convoy.
The London Olympic organising committee insists the vehicle fleet is necessary for what it describes as a ‘huge’ logistical operation, adding that each one has a specific and important role.

For the three most prominent vehicles on parade, that role is mostly commercial. Sponsors Coca-Cola, Samsung and Lloyds TSB each have a truck or coach kitted out in brand-name colours and they travel full time with the convoy.

By the time the convoy gets to the Olympic stadium in July it will have left a massive carbon footprint.

Dr Wendy Buckley, director of Carbon Footprint Ltd, which helps organisations to become carbon neutral, told the Daily Mail that if 47 was a typical daily average for vehicles, they were likely to emit a total of 223 tons of carbon dioxide. That would be equivalent to driving a Toyota Prius hybrid car more than 1.4million miles.

Alternatively, of course, perhaps the runners could borrow a tip from ancient Greece – and just run.

  • The flame went out briefly after it was fixed to the side of para-badminton star David Follett’s wheelchair for his torch-bearing stint in Great Torrington, near Bideford. Another torch was quickly lit, with organisers blaming a ‘malfunctioning burner’.
The public lining the streets as the Olympic torch relay arrives in Falmouth, Cornwall


Leah Burch, center, carrying the Olympic flame on the leg between Plymouth and Modbury

TORCHBEARER 'STAGGERED' BY BID OF £153,000 ON EBAY FOR HER FLAME


A torch-bearer who her torch up for sale on eBay to raise money for charity has attracted a bid of £153,000.

Community gardener Sarah Milner Simonds, from Burnham-on-Sea, Devon, said she was ‘staggered’ by the amount - but had yet to check whether the bid was genuine.

The 38-year-old community gardener was nominated for her work creating community gardens and allotments on derelict sites.

But after carrying the torch through the Exmoor village of Dunster, she said she was dismayed that people who objected to her eBay decision had sent abusive emails.

'Obviously it has really upset people but I think that it’s not something that is really me to keep my shiny trophy on a mantelpiece when it is obvious how much good one can do with the money that someone might be willing to pay for it.'

Participants in the online auction site could conceivably have made generous bids for the torch if they believed the money would go to a good cause. But there was speculation last night that the £153,000 bid was simply a cruel hoax.
Another torch up for sale yesterday - one of 8,000 that will be issued in the run-up to July 27 - attracted a £30,000 bid. Sellers have also auctioned off the uniform they wore while carrying the flame.

But some sellers could get burned, financially speaking. Flogging a torch for a huge profit would attract capital gains tax.





Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2147684/How-vehicles-does-escort-Olympic-flame-300-yard-dash-47.html#ixzz1vYzkBx8D
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