Towns struggle to organise torch events without a route

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Confusion surrounds the details of the Paralympic torch coming through Dacorum as Olympic organisers hold off from announcing the exact route.

As part of a 24 hour relay from Stoke Mandeville to London, the torch will go through Berkhamsted, Tring, Bourne End and Kings Langley on Wednesday, August 29.

But councillors can’t finalise details of late-night celebrations until they know exactly where the torch bearers will run – and Games chiefs won’t reveal all until after the Olympics closing ceremony on Sunday.

Tring councillor Roxanne Ransley said: “At the moment all I can do is liaise with people about it. Until we have the route confirmed we are left hanging, and gymnastics has never been my thing.”

Organisers will need ideas that can be executed quickly and easily – but with the torch arriving in Tring at 12.32am, in Berkhamsted at 1.03am and in Bourne End at 1.39 there are plenty of challenges to be addressed.

Councillor Ransley said: “We can’t forecast how many people will come so it would be foolish to make it an expensive do.”

The official website shows the torch going through residential areas such as Bunstrux in Tring and Charles Street in Berkhamsted.

Berkhamsted town councillor Penella Warren has plans for a late-night picnic but this could be scuppered if the route is away from the High Street.

She said: “It’s a shame, because we wanted all the streetlights and shop lights on as it passed and, of course, you cannot make a lot of noise on a residential street.

“I have no idea why they are going to do it at night-time. It seems a bit unfair.

“The competitors are putting in a lot of effort, so ought to be encouraged and applauded.

“I felt a bit outraged that their torch bearers are having to sneak through at night-time.”

Dacorum Borough Council’s 2012 officer Gill Barber said: “I’m pleased that we are the only place chosen in Hertfordshire to host the Paralympic torch as well as the Olympic Torch. The timescales are tight, but we will do it!

“There is a lot of detail unknown until LOCOG announce the exact street level route on August 15.”