Halloween traffic and travel

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The PSNI has issued vital traffic and travel information ahead of this weekend’s Halloween festivities in Londonderry.

Members of the public are being advised to expect some disruption to travel on Saturday evening, October 31, as thousands descend on the city centre.

A huge turnout is expected on Saturday night for the Rise of the River Gods Carnival Parade, which begins at 7pm, followed by a spectacular fireworks finale over the River Foyle at 8pm.

People are reminded that to accommodate the festivities there will be some disruption to the regular flow of traffic throughout the city centre, resulting in some delays as the parade makes its way along the upper Strand Road and Quayside area.

Motorists should allow a little extra time when planning their journeys on Saturday evening, and where possible avoid the main parade route area until the festivities have ended in order to ensure public safety and help minimise disruption and inconvenience to the local community.

Anyone who plans to attend the celebration should note that the carnival parade commences at 7pm and will exit from the Queen’s Quay Car Park beside the Derry City and Strabane District Council offices. From there it will turn up Boating Club Lane and proceed along the Strand Road and around the Harbour Square Roundabout before returning back to the Queen’s Quay Car Park along the Queen’s Quay, where it will end at approximately 7.50pm. The parade will be followed by a spectacular Fireworks Display on the Foyle, starting at 8pm.

Saturday’s events will best be enjoyed from a position along Queen’s Quay and there will also be an accessible viewing area for people with disabilities located on the Queen’s Quay opposite the City Hotel. It’s advised that disabled persons with impaired mobility who wish to avail of this area, should arrive a little earlier in order to ensure unimpeded access before the surrounding areas become heavily crowded.

Provisions are in place at this year’s Halloween carnival celebrations to facilitate disabled people attending the celebrations on 31 October. In addition to accessible disabled car parking at Strand Road, there is an accessible viewing platform opposite the City Hotel to facilitate disabled persons to view the Carnival parade and fireworks.

A quiet room facility, particularly suitable for children with sensory processing issues or disabilities is also available at Harbour House on October 31, as part of Council’s commitment to make the event accessible and enjoyable for all.

Where possible, the public is strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking to the event. A park and stride facility will be in operation from Fort George and Ebrington Square (accessible via St Columb’s Road) and people are urged to avail of the facility to ease congestion. Details of all buses can be found by visiting www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables.

Parking Information: Existing car parking areas that will be available include Cityside car parks: Foyleside Shopping Centre, Car Park East (until 11.30pm); Foyleside Shopping Centre, Car Park West (until 10pm); Quayside Shopping Centre (until 11.45pm); Foyle Road, Magee Campus (Lawrence Hill), Strand Road, Society Street, Bishop Street, Carlisle Road and William Street.

Waterside car parks: Ebrington Square (via St Columb’s Rd), Alfred Street, Bond’s Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpson’s Brae, Spencer Road and Waterside Health Centre.

The Park and Stride at Fort George will be in operation for the Halloween Carnival and event parking will also be available on the Ebrington site, accessed via St Columb’s Road. Both of these event car parks will be in operation from 5pm until 10pm on Saturday 31 October.

Motorists are advised that there are likely to be delays when exiting some car parks during the parade and after the fireworks display.

Disabled parking: A limited number of disabled viewing car parking spaces for the parade and fireworks display are available in Strand Road Car Park. These will not be accessible after 6.45pm due to traffic restrictions on the Strand Road. Blue Badge holders are advised to use available public, disabled car parking spaces.

Parking restrictions: Drivers are reminded that normal on street parking restrictions will be in place and that they should avoid parking anywhere where they may be blocking entrances to residences or businesses or where they may be obstructing emergency access. In addition to regular street parking restrictions at the car parks at Queen’s Quay, Victoria Market, and Foyle Street will be closed on Saturday.

There will be a reduction in the number of available car park spaces within Bishop Street Car Park on October 29 and 30 due to activities on the City Walls.

No car park spaces will be available on the access road to Victoria Market Car Park on Saturday October 31.

No parking will be permitted along Baronet Street, Fletcher Avenue and on the left hand side of St Columb’s Road. Parking restrictions will be indicated by “no parking” cones.

Drop offs: Vehicles stopping to drop off passengers are advised to park in a safe location and to avoid the immediate vicinity of Queen’s Quay and the Limavady Road / St Columb’s Road junction, in order to minimise traffic congestion.

Traffic restrictions: Motorists are advised to expect some delays and diversions during the parade and fireworks display.

In the interests of safety, the following roads will be closed to traffic or have traffic restrictions in place for the event: Lane closures will be introduced along the Strand Road and Foyle Embankment in advance of the parade. The Strand Road lane closure in front of the Council offices will be in operation between 6.00pm and 8.45pm. The Foyle Embankment lane closure, on the city bound approach to Water Street will be operational from 6.50pm until approximately 8.30pm.

Strand Road, Harbour Square, Queen’s Quay, Whittaker Street and the Foyle Embankment, between Water Street and the City Hotel, will be closed to traffic for varying lengths of time during the evening events, between 7.00pm and 8.30pm. Alternative diversion routes will be available during these times.

All times are approximate and that road closures and diversions will be kept to the minimum length necessary to ensure safety.