Baton relay a traffic headache

Joel Peterson | Bendigo Weekly | 08-Feb-2018

A council map outlining the road closures on Wednesday.

THE excitement of April’s Commonwealth Games will hit Bendigo on Wednesday when the Queen’s Baton Relay makes its way through town.

All up, 17 celebrated locals will carry the ceremonial baton through the streets of the CBD, from Camp Hill to an official welcome in Rosalind Park at 9am and on to Lake Weeroona.

But the relay and associated fanfare will throw the city into traffic chaos, with the city centre set to be closed and detours put in place for much of the morning.

An area bordered by Barnard, Mollison, Mitchell, Water and Baxter streets will be closed to all traffic from 6am until 11am.

McCrae and Napier streets will remain closed to traffic until the relay ends, as will sections of Hargreaves, Baxter and Hopetoun Streets.

The relay will travel from near the Queen Elizabeth Oval down View Street, then along Pall Mall to Chapel Street and make a loop through Hargreaves, Williamson and Myers streets, before heading out along Napier Street to Lake Weeroona where the baton will depart Bendigo.

After travelling 288 days throughout the Commonwealth, the Queen’s baton arrived on Australian soil in Brisbane on December 24, 2017, ahead of April’s games on the Gold Coast.

The baton’s main moment in the spotlight will be at the opening ceremony on April 4 where His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales will remove Her Majesty’s message from the baton and declare the games officially open.

Council’s Terry Karamaloudis said it was fantastic for Bendigo to be able to host the relay and acknowledged that it would have an impact on workers and residents.

“We are pleased to host the Queen’s Baton Relay in Bendigo and we know our community will support the event,” Mr Karamaloudis said.

“We have worked closely with Victoria Police and the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation to ensure adequate safety and security measures for the Baton relay.

“We understand the route will inconvenience people who work in the CBD and the many businesses in the CBD, but we hope that people will be able to make alternative arrangements for the morning.

“We encourage commuters to ride, walk or take public transport to work, or to arrange someone to drop them off at the edge of the exclusion zone.”

Edward Barkla, Andrew Barling, Joel Bertoncini, Russell Jack, Martin Mark, Denis Nihill, Dennis O’Hoy, Bradley Orton, Arj Perera, Laurie Preston, Nathan Rogers, Ellyse Roper, Colin Thompson, Kaye Trimble, Leslie Trimble, Lynn Walker, Gary Warnest and Glenn Woodhatch will carry the baton through Bendigo.

The Bendigo relay leg begins at 9.30am.


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