Security tests to be carried out as Trafford prepares to welcome Olympic football (From Messenger Newspapers)
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Security tests to be carried out as Trafford prepares to welcome Olympic football
3:34pm Tuesday 17th April 2012 in News
SECURITY tests will be carried out to ensure the arrival of Olympic football in Trafford in 100 days goes without a hitch.
The council will work alongside police at forthcoming events including the Greater Manchester Marathon, Soccer Aid and Looping the Loop.
Using Trafford’s Friars Court control room, the authorities will practice how they would react to various scenarios, such as a terrorist threat.
Peter Molyneux, Trafford Council’s corporate director of environment, transport and operations, said: “These are tests in commmunication, command and control to prepare us for the Olympics.”
It is hoped these measures will boost security when nine matches are played in seven days at Old Trafford Football Ground during the 2012 Olympics.
In March, fans attending Manchester United’s clash against West Bromwich Albion in March were subjected to Olympic level security checks.
Supporters were issued with clear plastic bags to empty their pockets into.
They also had to undergo body searches by club stewards in an exercise designed to replicate measures for the 2012 games.
In 100 days, on July 26, Team GB’s first match will take place at Old Trafford.
Andy Worthington is chairman of the North West Steering Group, an arm of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
He said: “We’ve sold 50,000 tickets for the first match so far and we anticipate that all of them will go in the coming months.”
Trafford has been working closely with Manchester and Salford councils to make sure the matches are a success.
Representatives from each of the local authorities marked the start of the 100-day countdown on Tuesday.
There it was revealed that plans are in place to recruit and train ambassadors to assist visitors.
The area around the stadium will be subject to an exclusion zone, which prevents traders from exploit trademarked Olympic logos.
Existing shops, pubs and eateries in the area will be permitted to trade as normal.
There has also been a consultation with residents and businesses concerning road closures.
These closures are more extensive than on Manchester United match days and will be located at Sir Matt Busby Way, Waters Reach, Trafford Wharf Road, Brian Statham Way, John Gilbert Way and Talbot Road.
The road blocks will not affect emergency services.
Mr Worthington said: “Residents are accustomed to match traffic and we don’t see why this will be any different.”
Mr Molyneux added: “We will encourage people where possible to use public transport and we’re confident it will be able to cope with the demand, we have been working closely with Transport for Greater Manchester. We also have four major park and ride sites.
“Residents will be asked to make arrangements in advance and the whole country should be in the grip of Olympic fever.”
The borough’s schools are being urged to get involved with the games via the Get Set Network, the London 2012 education programme.
Businesses have also benefited, with contracts worth more than £211 million being awarded to companies across the north west.
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