What a flaming joke!

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FURIOUS residents claim they have been snubbed by the organisers of the Wigan Olympic Torch route.

Community chiefs had already ordered two miles of Union Flag bunting to be hoisted between lampposts to decorate the streets.

And more than 1,000 individual flags have been ordered for primary school children and patriotic pensioners to wave as the flame flickered past. But now it has been revealed that the torch will pass through Platt Bridge, Spring View and part of Lower Ince INSIDE a coach.

Route planners from London 2012 – clearly aware of the anti-climactic effect this will have – are now discouraging residents and children from lining the route.

Now a disappointed ward councillor and community group are calling on the Torch route officials to make an 11th-hour u-turn.

Abram’s Coun Eunice Smethurst said that she was “absolutely appalled” by the announcement and has already made a protests to the Council’s Area Managers Group.

At least £1,200 grant has already been spent on the bunting and flags for the Spring View leg alone.

However she said that the bunting will now double as decoration for The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee instead.

She said: “We were all absolutely over the moon that the Olympic Torch was coming and going to pass though our community, it was pulling everybody together.

“Residents have been knocking on doors asking people if they wanted bunting and the response had been fantastic.

“Now we have been told by the Olympics that, because there isn’t enough time, it will pass though but it will be inside a coach as part of a cavalcade, not even on an open-topped bus and that has left us all totally gutted.”

FULL STORY IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (SATURDAY) ...