Lerwick Police are making a plea for responsible motoring and parking on Tuesday during Up-Helly-A’ – and warning that vehicles parked in the wrong places could be towed away.
As in previous years, measures to try and minimise traffic congestion in the town, particularly during the morning and evening, will be brought into effect.
Residents in the streets affected are asked to remove their vehicles from the road and to leave them outside the parade route if they need to use them during the time of the processions.
A strict parking ban will be enforced from early to late morning in North Road, Commercial Road, Esplanade, Harbour Street and Market Street, other than in designated parking bays.
The morning procession including the galley will start on King Harald Street at 8.30 am, with the Jarl’s Squad marching to the Toll Clock Shopping Centre, via King Harald Street, King Haakon Street, St Sunniva Street and Gilbertson Road. They will then proceed from the Toll Clock Shopping Centre to the British Legion before marching to the Bressay Slip, arriving at approximately 10.05am.
Traffic will be subject to delay as the galley makes its way through the town in the morning and motorists are strongly advised to avoid this area if possible and use alternative routes.
The area of Upper and Lower Hillhead, King Erik Street (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 and will be closed to all traffic from about 4pm until after the area is cleared at the end of the burning ceremony.
Arrangements have been made for a limited amount of space for disabled person’s vehicles on King Erik Street outside King Erik House. Please ensure you arrive early as no spaces can be guaranteed.
In order to allow maximum parking, and to ease traffic congestion, a one-way traffic system from north to south will be in force in Burgh Road. Any persons parking in Burgh Road before the introduction of the system, and residents, are 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 North Road.
Acting inspector Jason Beeston 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 can not 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.