Traffic and travel arrangements for this Saturday’s Apprentice Boys parade in Derry have just been released by police.
It is the largest loyal order parade in Northern Ireland, with 140 bands and scores of Apprentice Boys’ clubs expected.
There will be a number of smaller parades in the morning prior to the main parade, which takes place at 12.30pm.
At 9am, one band will parade through Fountain Estate, Kennedy Street, Kennedy Place, Hawkin Street, London Street, and Society Street.
At 9.30am, the ABOD General Committee and eight ABOD “Parent Clubs” accompanied by nine bands will assemble in Society Street and parade around the City Walls anti-clockwise, then on to the War Memorial in the Diamond for a wreath laying ceremony via Society Street, Bishop Street, and the Diamond.
Following this ceremony, they will parade to St Columb’s Cathedral for a church service via Ferryquay Street, Pump Street and into St Columb’s Cathedral. The service will last about an hour.
At 11.30am, one band will parade from Fountain Estate via Wapping Lane, Carlisle Square, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay Street, the Diamond, Bishop Street, London Street to Artillery Street. There they will await the main parade.
At 11.45am, the ABOD General Committee, led by one band, will parade from St Columb’s, Carlisle Square via London Street, Hawkin Street and Carlisle Road for a pageant.
The pageant will involve historical reconstructions, including musket-firing. Fireworks will be discharged from a barge on the River Foyle to symbolise the breaking of the boom. This will signal the start of the main parade.
At 12.30 p.m., the main parade, which takes about two-and-a-half hours, commences at Duke Street and proceeds via Craigavon Bridge, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay Street, the Diamond, Bishop Street, London Street, Hawkin Street, Kennedy Street, Wapping Lane, Abercorn Road, Carlisle Square, Craigavon Bridge, Spencer Road, Dungiven Road, Dennet Gardens, Sheskin Gardens, Bann Drive, Finn Gardens, Mourne Drive, Dennet Gardens, Dungiven Road, Glendermott Road, Bonds Street to May Street for dispersal.
at 5pm, the General Committee and eight Parent Clubs will parade back to cityside from May Street via Bonds Street, Dungiven Road, Clooney Terrace, Spencer Road, Craigavon Bridge, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay Street, the Diamond, Bishop Street, and Palace Street to Society Street.
On dispersal at the Memorial Hall, one band will parade Society Street, London Street, Hawkin Street, Kennedy Street and the Fountain Estate.
Police say traffic diversions and delays are likely from 10.30am. Traffic will not be allowed onto the parade route after 12pm and any cars parked on the parade route will not be able to move until the parade has passed their point.
Vehicles travelling from the Limavady direction towards Strabane will be diverted at Caw Roundabout via Crescent Link, Trench Road, and Duncastle Road to Newbuildings. Traffic bound for the Cityside should use the Foyle Bridge.
Vehicles travelling from Strabane towards Limavady will be diverted at Newbuildings via Woodside Road, Gortinure Road and Trench Road to Altnagelvin.
City side-bound traffic and local residents will be permitted to use Victoria Road and the lower deck of Craigavon Bridge, although delays should be anticipated.
There will be no access from the lower deck of the bridge onto Duke Street.
Chapel Road - which is normally restricted to one-way traffic - will be available for local residents to travel in BOTH directions throughout the day.
Police are also advising people travelling to the city to see the parade to use official car parks.
At the request of residents in the Waterside, parking restrictions will be strictly enforced. Illegally parked vehicles will be ticketed and may be towed away. Recovery will be at the owners’ expense.
Motorists, say police, should allow extra time for their journeys and should take extra care on the diversionary routes.