Traffic disruption expected as 15,000 attend Boys’ parade

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Up to 15,000 people and 140 loyalist bands are expected to descend on Derry for Saturday’s annual Apprentice Boys’ demonstration.

Traffic disruption is expected in the city throughout the day and police are advising motorists to allow extra time for journeys.

The main Apprentice Boys parade - the largest loyalist parade in the North will be preceded by four smaller parades on Saturday morning.

The various clubs and their supporters will gather in the Duke Street/Spencer Road area from about 11am for the main demonstration which will set off at 12.30pm to travel across the top deck of Craigavon Bridge to the west bank.

The route will take the parade up Carlisle Road and into the Diamond, to Bishop Street and the Fountain, and then return through Wapping Lane and the top deck to the Waterside.

In the Waterside, the parade will make its way along Spencer Road and into the Irish Street Estate before returning via Dungiven Road to disperse at the assembly point.

The parade will take about two and a-half-hours to pass any given point. There are no scheduled stops on the route.

At around 4.30pm, a smaller parade of home clubs from the city will make its way to the Memorial Hall at Society Street.

Police are advising that traffic diversions will be put in place from about 10.30am. A spokesperson said: “Traffic will not be allowed onto the parade route after 11.45am and any cars parked on the parade route may 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, Duncastle Road and Newbuildings. City side bound traffic will use the Foyle Bridge, bottom deck. Vehicles travelling from Strabane towards Limavady will be diverted at Newbuildings via Woodside Road, Gortinure Road and Trench Road.

City side-bound traffic and local residents will be permitted to use Victoria Road and the lower deck Craigavon Bridge, although police are warning motorists to expect delays.

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 vehicles to travel in both directions throughout the day.

The local lodge mini-parades will take place from 9am when two bands and supporters will parade the Fountain estate, Kennedy Street, Kennedy Place, Hawkin Street, London Street, and Society Street.

At 9.30am the parent clubs with nine bands will parade the walls from Society Street to Pump Street and into St Columb’s Cathedral.

At 11.30am one band will parade The Fountain Estate, Wapping Lane, Carlisle Square, Carlisle Road, Ferryquay Street, The Diamond, Bishop Street, London Street and Artillery Street to await the main parade.

At 11.45am one band, officers of the governing committee and a drama group will parade from St Columb’s to a pageant in Carlisle Square.

A large firework is to be fired from a boat on the Foyle to symbolise the breaking of the boom and signal the start of the main parade.