Olympic torch route condemned

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MEMBERS of the Newton Stewart branch of the SNP this week condemned the Government’s decision to miss out this area when announcing the route for next year’s Olympic torch relay.

The say that Galloway’s status as ‘Scotland’s forgotten corner’ has been underlined yet again by organisers announcement

that the Olympic flame would come within a one-hour journey of 95 per cent of people in the UK.

But the nearest the torch will come to residents of Wigtownshire is Carlisle, an hour and 50 minutes drive away whilst the nearest location in Scotland is Glasgow, a drive of more than two hours, assuming you stick to the speed limit!

At their meeting held in the Cree Inn, Minnigaff, on Monday SNP branch secretary Andrew Wilson said: “It underlines yet again that Dumfries and Galloway - and Galloway in particular - simply does not feature with broadcasters or indeed Olympic organisers.

“It appears that, yet again, the people of Wigtownshire will be among the five per cent who won’t get to see the Olympic torch coming anywhere near them.”

“We have to put up with ITV from Newcastle with virtually no local news west of Carlisle, BBC weather forecasts which sweep from Wales to Northern Ireland and straight up the coast to Glasgow, missing out south-west Scotland altogether and now, being missed out for the Olympic torch relay. It’s not good enough for what is supposed to be a nationally significant event, albeit based in London.

“We are hoping for a change of heart,” said Mr Wilson, “if only to alter the perception that Dumfries and Galloway doesn’t matter.”

South of Scotland SNP MSP Aileen McLeod is backing calls for the Olympic Torch Route organisers to include south-west Scotland as part of its 8,000 mile journey from Land’s End to London via the Shetland Islands.