Glasgow 2014: Thousands descend on Glasgow

Thousands of athletes and officials are descending on Glasgow as the city prepares for the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games on Wednesday.

Special travel arrangements are now in effect, with Games Lanes affecting the Clydeside Expressway, the M8 across the Kingston Bridge and the M74 motorway.

Police said drivers caught in the specified lanes would be fined £50.

More than 4,500 athletes will compete in 17 sports from Thursday before the closing ceremony on 3 August.

Many of the venues are now in lockdown, with parking and driving restrictions in force.

Michael Renshaw, director of transport and logistics at Glasgow 2014, advised people in the city to plan ahead before any journey.

"Many of the spectators know the city well, but it's important to remember venues and much of the transport network will operate differently from what people are familiar with," he said.

Athletes arrive in Glasgow Athletes have been arriving at their purpose-built village in the east end of the city

More than 1,000 athletes from 25 countries arrived at Glasgow Airport on Monday, including teams from Bangladesh, New Zealand, India and Singapore.

They are being taken straight to the Athletes' Village, at Dalmarnock, in the east end of the city.

At the village, a piper has been greeting guests, with each team given a welcome ceremony hosted by one of Glasgow 2014's chieftains, who include rugby legend Gavin Hastings, Scotland's most successful Olympian Sir Chris Hoy and Scotland's first-ever gold medallist for gymnastics, Steve Frew.

Susan Boyle with the Queen's Baton Singer Susan Boyle was one of the Queen's Baton bearers on Monday

Tony Sainsbury, Glasgow 2014's head of villages, said: "There's a terrific atmosphere now with thousands of athletes settling in and looking forward to the sporting action ahead."

The sporting preparations are running in tandem with the Queen's Baton Relay, which has been touring the city ahead of Wednesday night's opening ceremony.

Among the baton bearers on Monday was singer Susan Boyle, who carried it at the city's Yorkhill Hospital for Sick Children.

Meanwhile, Games organiser Glasgow 2014 said a suspected outbreak of norovirus, which began last week at the Commonwealth Games athletes' village, was now under control.

In other Commonwealth Games news, Unicef projects helping children in Bangladesh and Malawi have been awarded £750,000 as part of efforts to create an international legacy from the Games.

The funding, from the Scottish government and Sport Relief, is aimed at helping prevent child labour in Bangladesh and to give youngsters in Malawi skills to help them find jobs.

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