Details of traffic and travel arrangements have now been released ahead of this Friday’s Halloween parade and fireworks.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to line the streets of Derry ahead of the Banks of the Foyle Hallowe’en Carnival gets underway.
The council has advised that there will be 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.
A Council spokeswoman said: “Motorists should allow a little extra time when planning their journeys on Friday 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 festivities should note that the carnival parade commences at 7pm and will exit from the Queen’s Quay Car Park beside the Derry City 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 Queens Quay, where it will end at approximately 7.50pm.”
The parade will be followed by the annual Fireworks Display on the River Foyle, starting at 8pm.
The council spokeswoman said the Queen’s Quay remained the best place to view the fireworks, with an accessible viewing area for people with disabilities located on the Queen’s Quay opposite the City Hotel.
“It’s advisable that disabled persons with mobility impairments who wish to avail of this area, plan to arrive a little earlier in order to ensure unimpeded access before the surrounding areas become heavily crowded,” the council spokeswoman said.
“Where possible, the public are strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking to the event. Details of all buses can be found by visiting www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables.
Existing car parking areas that will be available include: Foyleside Shopping Centre Car Park East (until 11.30pm), Foyleside West and Quayside Shopping Centre (until 10.00pm), Foyle Road, Magee Campus (Lawrence Hill), Strand Road, Victoria Market, Society Street, Bishop Street, Carlisle Road and William Street.
Waterside car parks: Alfred Street, Bond’s Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpsons Brae, Spencer Road and Waterside Health Centre.
In addition, this year 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 Friday 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: There will be an area reserved at the front of the DRD’s Strand Road car park permitting limited disabled car parking, from which vehicle occupants can view the parade and fireworks display.
Other 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. It is vital, therefore, that people use the available car parks.
In addition, the following parking restrictions will be in force during the day.
The DRD car parks at Queen’s Quay and Foyle Street will be closed on Friday 31st October.
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 6pm and 8.45pm. The Foyle Embankment lane closure, on the city bound approach to Water Street will be operational from 5pm 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.
Please note that all times are approximate and that road closures and diversions will be kept to the minimum length necessary to ensure safety
Pedestrian restrictions: For safety reasons numbers on the Peace Bridge will be limited during the fireworks display. It is likely, therefore, that it will be necessary to close the Peace Bridge for a period during the evening, once the safe capacity has been reached. Pedestrians and cyclists are asked, therefore to be aware that it may not be possible to travel over the bridge for a period on Thursday evening. It is not possible to predict the exact time period during which the bridge may be closed, as this will be dictated by circumstances, but it is likely to be closed between 7.30pm and 8.30pm and anyone who regularly uses the bridge as a route to return home or go to work is advised to consider alternative arrangements. Every effort will, however, be made to minimise any disruption.
In addition, for safety reasons, a section of the Greenway at St Columb’s Park will also be closed to public access on Thursday evening in advance of the fireworks display.
For further information on traffic and travel throughout the evening, tune into BBC Radio Foyle and Q120.9FM for updates on traffic and car parking information.