Queensferry is snubbed by Olympics

Olympic Torch will be carried across Scotland by hundreds of torchbearers
Olympic Torch will be carried across Scotland by hundreds of torchbearers

THE Olympic Torch is heading to Hopetoun House on Wednesday, June 13, but Queensferry and its residents are not going to be part of the festivities.

The Hopetoun event is invite only and will not be open to members of the public, despite its close proximity.

The torch is scheduled to arrive at Hopetoun at 4.28pm after having been earlier paraded through Dunfermline.

It will be transported in a convoy of vehicles across the Forth Road Bridge but there are no plans for it to stop off in Queensferry.

At Hopetoun House, a festival of entertainment has been organised by West Lothian Council and the stately home from 2pm onwards.

The event will see up to 500 schoolchildren (50 from Queensferry schools) in attendance.

This has led to a barrage of complaints, with many people commenting that Queensferry should have been included on the torch relay route.

On our social media sites, readers commented “It should be going along Queensferry High Street with bunting on the terraces and all the school kids cheering.”

Others said: “The Olympic website shows a route map for the Hopetoun Torch Relay but at no time does it mention it is a private event” and “Totally disgraceful!”

Politicians have become involved too.

Edinburgh West MSP Colin Keir has written to the London Olympics chief executive, Paul Deighton, calling on him to rethink the Torch Relay route.

He said: “I feel that more could be done to put the torch on display as it crosses the iconic Forth estuary into Queensferry.

‘‘The Forth Bridges would provide the torch relay with a globally recognised setting.

While he welcomed the once in a lifetime opportunity for 50 local schoolchildren to attend, the MSP believes it is a real let down for residents and the other schoolchildren who will not be able to embrace the torch and give it a real Queensferry welcome.

MSP Keir added the Olympic vision to make the torch “the people’s torch” will be compromised if only a limited number of people will be able to take part in the event.

Keith Giblett, chairman of Queensferry and District Community Council, added: “It is very disappointing that Queensferry will not feature in the Olympic torch procession.

‘‘It is a Royal Burgh and it offers a magnificent backdrop.

‘‘The organisers have missed a big opportunity.”

The torch moves on to Broxburn after Hopetoun at 5.21pm with a street party planned from 3.45pm.