Centre ‘too spread out’ for bus parade

Greg Rutherford
Greg Rutherford

THE layout of the town centre is to blame for the lack of a proper parade for Greg Rutherford, according to Milton Keynes Council.

After shutting off the roads for the Red Bull Home Run last December, which attracted in excess of 40,000 people, the Olympic Torch relay in July and the popular Skyride cycling event three weeks ago, the council has claimed the spread-out nature of the city centre ‘wouldn’t do Greg justice.’

At the moment though, it seems it won’t be doing anyone any justice, with the council also admitting that some athletes were still yet to be contacted about the event, now scheduled to take place at stadium:mk on Saturday, September 29.

A council spokesman said: “It was felt an open topped bus parade wasn’t really appropriate for Central Milton Keynes because of the layout of the city centre here.

“Unlike many traditional city centres we are very spread out – and as such we felt there was a risk that this type of parade wouldn’t do Greg justice.

“We are still contacting various athletes and associated people in preparation for our big event at stadiummk on Saturday, September 29.”

“The one saving grace is a parade organised by Woburn Sands Town Council for Friday, September 28.

“In the meantime Woburn it will be doing an open top ceremony for Greg – which is highly fitting, as he is local to the village, and it will surely be a much more intimate, personal celebration for him.

“Doubtless he will be mobbed by local well-wishers, friends and family, and rightly so.”

A spokesman for the Dons said: “Initially Milton Keynes Council contacted the Club to play a small part in the celebrations for all those in the local community who were involved in the Olympics and Paralympics. Milton Keynes Council’s plans have now changed since the inital communications with the Club and Milton Keynes Dons have been asked to host a reception for all those involved on September 29.

“The Club are extremely proud of our local athletes, gamesmakers andtorchbearers who helped make London 2012 a huge sucess and we are pleased to help celebrate their acheivements.”

Rutherford’s agent confirmed Greg wouldn’t be attending the council’s event at stadium:mk.

> Dad’s disappointment over plans for Greg’s homecoming, page 12