Shamrocks and shenanigans for St. Patrick’s Day in Derry

Dancers from St. Cecilia's College leap in the air as they make their way past the Guildhall during the annual Spring Carnival on St. Patrick's Day in Derry last year. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 17.03.17
Dancers from St. Cecilia's College leap in the air as they make their way past the Guildhall during the annual Spring Carnival on St. Patrick's Day in Derry last year. Picture Martin McKeown. Inpresspics.com. 17.03.17

Thousands are expected to turn out for Derry’s Saint Patrick’s Day parade tomorrow along the new route through the city centre this year.

The local council has issued traffic and travel advice for all those coming to catch the spectacle, which gets under way from 2.00 pm at the Bishop Street car park.

This year, the festivities will include over 600 performers participating in the parade itself, while hundreds more will be participating in a range of carnival events and festivals taking place across the city centre.

Mayor of Derry and Strabane, Colr. Maolíosa McHugh said it was expected the new route will attract more people into the city this year which, he said, will bring the entire place to life and add to the festival atmosphere.”

After leaving Bishop Street car park the parade will make its way along Bishop Street to The Diamond before travelling down Shipquay Street and on to Whittaker Street. From there, it will turn left at the Harbour Square Roundabout where it will pass via Custom House Street before turning right into Waterloo Place. The parade will then turn into Strand Road where it will travel to the Strand Road car park.

Local people are advised that there will be some disruption to normal travel movements during the afternoon so people should allow a little ex tra time when planning their journeys.

An accessible viewing area for people with limited mobility will be located on Whittaker Street opposite the Guildhall. It’s advisable that anyone who wishes to avail of this area, should arrive there early in order to ensure unimpeded access.

Due to the expected numbers, where possible, the public is strongly advised to use the public transport system or to consider walking. Details of all buses can be found by visiting www.translink.co.uk/Routes-and-Timetables

Cityside car parking areas available include Foyleside Car Park East; Foyleside West and Quayside Shopping Centre; Foyle Road; Magee Campus (Lawrence Hill); Victoria Market; Queen’s Quay; Society Street; Carlisle Road and William Street. The car park at the council offices on Strand Road will also be opened. Car parks in the Waterside area include Alfred Street, Bond’s Hill, Distillery Brae, Simpson’s Brae, Spencer Road and Old Bridge House.

Car parks at Strand Road, Foyle Street and Bishop Street will be closed on Saturday.

Blue Badge holders are advised to use available public, disabled car parking spaces. Accessible parking for the viewing area platform will be accommodated in the Foyle Street Car Park.

Motorists are advised to expect some diversions, with a number of planned road closures. These include Bishop Street, Shipquay Street and Strand Road, which will be restricted for varying lengths of time during the afternoon between 12 noon and 4pm. Alternative diversion routes will be available during these times. There will also be a lane restriction on the Foyle Embankment on the city bound approach from Translink Bus Depot, operational from 1pm until 4pm.