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Popemobiles arrive in UK for Pope's visit

By Channel 4 News

Updated on 14 September 2010

Two of the special bullet-proofed Popemobile cars have arrived in the UK, ahead of this week's state visit in which thousands of pilgrims are expected to turn out to see Pope Benedict XVI.

Popemobile arrives in the UK ahead of Benedict XVI's Papal visit

Pope Benedict will use two modified Mercedes M-Class vehicles as he travels through Edinburgh, London and Birmingham.

The Popemobiles, which cost £75,000 each, have a bullet-proof glass box for the pontiff to wave to the public.

A driver and a security guard sit in the front of the car, while there is room for two papal aides to sit in the back in front of the Pope's elevated chair.

British drivers chosen by local authorities will drive the popemobiles, which will be powered by green energy.

Popemobile registration plate

The Popemobile's registration plates read SCV1, which is the abbreviation for Stato della Citta del Vaticano, or Vatican City State.

The Metropolitan Police says it is working closely with papal organisers to provide the best vantage points for onlookers to see the Popemobile.

“While security issues will be paramount, the Met Police is working with HM Government, event organisers and other partners to ensure routes for the popemobile are designed with the aim of affording the public the best possible opportunity of seeing Pope Benedict.

"Those wishing to see the Pope are advised to plan their trips well in advance and head for the central London Popemobile routes to avoid disappointment," a Met Police spokesman said.

The Vatican abandoned the use of an uncovered Popemobile and started to use bullet-proof glass after the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in 1981.

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