Local people have been advised to expect some travel disruption during what could be Derry’s largest ever Halloween celebration in the city centre.
Tens of thousands are expected to swoop on the city centre for the Halloween Rise Of the River Gods Carnival Parade and fireworks on Saturday evening next, with park and strides being organised for Fort Goerge and Ebrington Square.
The Parade, which begins at 7pm, will travel along the upper Strand Road and Quayside area, followed by the fireworks over the River Foyle at 8pm.
A spokesperson for Derry City & Strabane District Council has now advised:
“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.
“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.
“Where possible, the public are 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 Rd) from 5pm to 10pm on Saturday.
Details of all buses and times can be found by visiting www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables.
Car parking areas that will be available in and near the city centre include: Foyleside Shopping Centre Car Park East (until 11.30pm), Foyleside 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 will include: Ebrington Square (via St Columbs Rd), Alfred Street, Bond’s Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpson’s Brae, Spencer Road and Waterside Health Centre.
Motorists are advised that there are likely to be delays when exiting some car parks during the parade and after the fireworks display.
A limited number of disabled viewing car parking spaces for the parade and fireworks display are available at 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.
All 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 also be a reduction in the number of available car park spaces within Bishop St 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.
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.
In the interests of safety, the following roads will be closed to traffic or have traffic restrictions in place for the event:
1) 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 6.50pm until approximately 8.30pm.
2) 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 7pm and 8.30pm. Alternative diversion routes will be available during these times.