Expect traffic delays as convoy protest reaches London on Thursday: OPP

Click to play video: 'Freedom Convoy continues protest across the Prairies' Freedom Convoy continues protest across the Prairies
WATCH: The Freedom Convoy made pit stops across the Prairies the past few days, as it heads east to Ottawa to protest vaccine mandates and lockdown measures. Jackie Wilson reports from Calgary – Jan 25, 2022

Drivers in the London, Ont., region are being asked to watch for traffic when a rolling protest makes its way through town.

A convoy of truckers and supporters en route to Ottawa to protest COVID-19 vaccine mandates is scheduled to launch its southwestern Ontario route on Thursday morning.

Read more: Trucker convoy organizer calls for ‘peaceful protest’ without ‘violence’ or ‘threats’

Convoys travelling from Sarnia and Windsor are set to meet at the Flying J Travel Center on Highbury Avenue South at around 11 a.m.

Organizers say the so-called “freedom convoy” will stick around for at least an hour before heading eastbound on Highway 401 toward Drumbo and eventually stopping in Kingston for the day.

While the convoy was originally set to meet in London at 8 a.m., organizers announced an updated time of arrival on Wednesday afternoon.

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There’s no word on how large the crowd will be in London, but provincial police will be on hand to monitor the protest.

“What we want is for the demonstrators to be safe, we want people who may gather to watch the convoy go through to be safe and we want those who are on the road with the demonstrators as motorists to be safe as well,” said Derek Rogers, the regional media relations coordinator for West Region OPP.

“We will have a significant number of officers in the area to maintain an orderly flow and to ensure that everybody remains safe.”

Read more: As trucker convoy rolls to Ottawa, grocery stores say supply issues have ‘started to ease’

Rogers says drivers should expect delays on Highway 401 when the convoy arrives, as well as on any roads that converge on the 401.

On top of the potential for heavy traffic, drivers should also be mindful of the weather. However, only a few flurries are forecast to arrive Thursday morning, according to Environment Canada.

Rogers added that police have been in contact with organizers ahead of tomorrow’s protest, as is standard protocol with any demonstrations happening in OPP jurisdiction.

“Those officers are part of our OPP provincial liaison team, it’s their role to maintain that flow of contact and that flow of communication to ensure that everybody gets where they’re going safely,” Rogers said.

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As of Wednesday afternoon, no other London stops have been listed on websites set up by organizers of the convoy protest.

Click to play video: 'Ontario police investigating after video of officer supporting Freedom Rally posted online' Ontario police investigating after video of officer supporting Freedom Rally posted online
Ontario police investigating after video of officer supporting Freedom Rally posted online – Jan 25, 2022

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