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Thousands will watch Marathon—but who clears up afterwards?

PUBLISHED: 18:59 15 April 2009 | UPDATED: 14:17 05 October 2010

ROADS are being closed and 2,000 cones made ready to line the streets of London East End in just 11 days' time. Council workers are gearing up for the London Marathon on Sunday week

By Mike Brooke

ROADS are being closed and 2,000 cones made ready to line the streets of London East End in just 11 days’ time.

Council workers are gearing up for the London Marathon which passes through Tower Hamlets on Sunday week.

Runners including professionals from around the world are being joined by home grown’ amateurs raising cash for charity—all limbering up for the Big Run.

But for the council workers and contractors, it means miles of road maintenance and tidying up along the route between Tower Bridge and the Isle of Dogs.

Almost half of the 26-mile course is in the East End, so the local authority needs to make sure preparations for April 26 and for the clean-up afterwards literally run smoothly.’

BROKEN RAILINGS

“We’re inspecting 12 miles of carriageway looking for things like broken railings, potholes and uneven paving which could cause injury to the runners or spectators,” explained Council team manager Gary Branton.

“Repairs will be complete on the day and the team will work from 4am. Road closures and diversions will be organised and 2,000 cones put in position.”

The council’s waste services team have the unenviable task of cleaning the streets before and after, picking up litter from tens-of-thousands of spectators, a-quarter-of-a-million water bottles from the 10 drinking stations along the route through the East End, and thousands of orange segments dropped by the 30,000 runners.

It’s a big order for the local authority, but good practice in the run up’ (no pun intended) to the 2012 Olympics East London is hosting in little more than three years.

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