Londonderry is gearing up for a captivating and engaging programme of events over nine consecutive days for this year’s Foyle Maritime Festival (July 14-22) which will welcome tens of thousands of visitors to the city and promises to be a ‘celebration to remember’.
As the excitement builds ahead of this year’s festival the public are being reminded that there will be some level of disruption to regular traffic and travel arrangements in and around the main festival areas in the city centre.
And people are also encouraged to heed travel instructions to ensure a safe and enjoyable festival for everyone.
Mayor of Derry City and Strabane District, Cllr. John Boyle is advising festival goers to check out travel restrictions before starting their journey.
“We are expecting a huge volume of visitors over this year’s international festival – and to account for the wide variety of outdoor events taking place a number of changes to travel and parking will be in place. These restrictions are there for the benefit of the public to ensure the safe delivery of the events – and disruption will be kept to a minimum,” he said.
To facilitate this year’s festival there will be temporary road closures put in place at Queen’s Quay – from the City Hotel to Queen’s Quay Roundabout.
This will include a complete road closure of both lanes from 8pm on July 12 until 8am on July 13 to facilitate site set-up, a single lane closure during the festival itself from 8am on July 13 until 7pm on July 22; and a complete road closure again of both lanes from 7pm on July 22 until 6am on July 23 to facilitate site breakdown.
Cllr. Boyle added: “With so many people expected to make the journey into the city to enjoy the packed programme of family friendly activities, a number of facilities will be available to provide easy access to the quayside.
“I would encourage people to use the free ‘Park and Ride’ shuttle service which will be operated by Translink at peak times during the two weekends of this year’s festival.”
The two pick-up locations for the free shuttle service are St Columb’s College, Buncrana Road and the new Foyle College, Limavady Road – and will drop people off at Sainsbury’s bus stop on the quayside.
Translink will operate the free ‘Park and Ride’ shuttle service approximately every 30 minutes from both St Columb’s College, Buncrana Road and the new Foyle College, Limavady Road on the following dates/times:
Saturday, July 14 - 12noon to 10pm;
Sunday, July 15 - 12noon to 10pm;
Friday, July 20 - 12noon to 12midnight;
Saturday, July 21 - 12noon to 10pm;
Sunday, July 22 - 12noon to 6pm.
Cllr. Boyle added: “I have no doubts that this year’s Maritime Festival will be a fantastic event for the city – so let’s work together to ensure this is a safe, enjoyable experience for everyone.”
On-street parking restrictions will also be in place throughout the festival, and parking will be available at usual car parks throughout the city.
However, the Queen’s Quay car park will be closed for the duration of the festival to allow for events along the quayside.
There is also event parking at Fort George and people are encouraged to avail of this facility and to refrain from parking at Sainsbury’s car park.
Council are also committed to ensuring that this year’s festivities are as accessible and inclusive as possible, and as a result have provided Disability Parking at the Strand Road Car Park.
Whilst cyclists are being fully encouraged to cycle to this year’s events – they have been asked to dismount within the event zones.
At busier times during the festival it may be necessary to introduce additional traffic management and parking restrictions.
All festival goers should also note that facilities on site will include Information Points and toilets at convenient locations throughout the city centre.
All facilities will be sign-posted and stewards and event staff will be able to provide direction.
Anyone travelling from outside the city should note that Translink are currently offering a wide range of discount bus, coach and train services – so to plan your journey and select your best value ticket simply click www.translink.co.uk/foylemaritimefestival/ or call 90 66 66 30.
For a full list of all traffic and travel restrictions and regular updates, as well as detailed information for residents and businesses who may be affected by activity during the Foyle Maritime Festival please go to www.foylemaritimefestival.com