A MAJOR Basingstoke-based company will play a leading role in ensuring this weekend’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations run smoothly.

The AA, based at Basing View, will be providing 900 road signs and 5,000 cones for the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, in which a flotilla of 1,000 boats will sail through the capital to mark Her Majesty’s 60th year on the throne.

It is another major job for the motoring giants, who were also involved in organising the Queen’s coronation, on June 2 1953, when they provided 490 road signs and 50 patrols for traffic management and parking.

Edmund King, AA president, said: “The Automobile Association, established in 1905, has always been proud of its close association with the Queen and royal household. The Queen opened the AA’s Basingstoke head office.

“Almost 60 years since our patrols helped at the Coronation, we are delighted to be involved in the preparations for the Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

“Everyone at the Automobile Association sends their best wishes to The Queen and Prince Philip in this special Diamond Jubilee year.”

In 1953, five AA mobile traffic information units were stationed around London a week prior to the coronation to providing information to those wishing to travel.

It also had to coordinate the 4,000 cars for invited guests at Westminster Abbey, where AA parking permits were issued and special coronation route maps produced.