Police outline Up-Helly-A’ traffic restrictions

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Police in Lerwick are advising the motoring public to bear in mind the effects on traffic Up-Helly-A’ will cause on Tuesday.

As in previous years, police are putting measures in place to try and minimise traffic congestion, particularly during the morning and evening.

Residents in the affected streets are asked to remove their vehicles from the road and leave them outwith the parade route if they require to use them during the processions.

The morning procession will assemble at Islesburgh at around 8.30am and will march to the Toll Clock Shopping Centre via King Harald Street, King Haakon Street, St Sunniva Street and Gilbertson Road. They will stop and enter the Toll Clock via the lane between Frank Williamson’s and the old fire station.

While this is happening the galley will make its way from the Galley Shed at St Sunniva Street, down Gilbertson Road, onto North Road and will stop at the British Legion to await the Jarl’s Squad.

After meeting with management at the Toll Clock, the Jarl’s Squad will re-form and march to the British legion where they will meet up with the galley and march to the Bressay Slip, arriving at approximately 10.05am.

Traffic will be subject to delay as the Jarl’s Squad and the galley make their way through the town in the morning. Motorists are strongly advised to avoid this area if possible and use alternative routes.

The area of Upper and Lower Hillhead, King Erik Street, the Town Hall brae, St Olaf Street, Union Street, Prince Alfred Street, King Harald Street, Harbour Street and Market Street will be subject to parking restrictions all day. They will be closed to all traffic from about 4pm until after the area is cleared following the burning ceremony.

Arrangements have been made for a limited amount of space for disabled people’s vehicles on King Erik Street outside King Erik House. Police are appealing to people to arrive early as no spaces can be guaranteed.

A one-way traffic system from north to south will be in force in Burgh Road. Anyone parking in Burgh Road before the system is introduced is asked to park facing Scalloway Road to ensure a safe and speedy exit from the area. Motorists parking in Gilbertson Road are “strongly advised” to park facing northwards, exiting via the North Road. 

A police spokesperson said: “These measures are intended to enable people to enjoy the spectacle to the full and for a safe and rapid dispersal of traffic afterwards

“All motorists are asked in their own interests to comply with these measures. In recent years, they have successfully minimised traffic congestions and delays.

“It may appear that the restrictions imposed come into effect some time before the various parades, but drivers can be assured that this is for good reason.

“Every year the police have to spend many hours trying to trace drivers who have left their vehicles in defiance of the no parking signs. While these drivers may intend to return and move their cars before the main parade, the police cannot be sure of this.

“For safety reasons they cannot afford to wait until the last moment to start the time-consuming task to trace the owner and have the vehicle moved.

“Any vehicles parked in contravention of the traffic regulation orders will be liable to be towed away and the driver will be liable for the cost, as well as prosecution.”

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