City centre set to shut down for first parades

GLASGOW city centre will grind to a halt on Saturday as a string of temporary road closures take effect at the start of the Orange Order marching season.

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  n There will be 57 parades through Glasgow on Saturday
n There will be 57 parades through Glasgow on Saturday

The newly-dubbed 'Orangefest Parade' takes place and road restrictions will be in place throughout much of the city centre from 9.30am until 4pm.

Police officers will be taken off duty from as far afield as Stirling, Fife and Edinburgh to be deployed at what will be the first big parade in Scotland since the creation of the new national police force.

There will be 57 parades through Glasgow on the day, as about 4500 members of the Protestant Orange Order and tens of thousands of supporters gather in the city for the organisation's biggest event outside of Northern Ireland.

Driving will be prohibited on key routes during the parade hours.

Major roads affected include George Street, High Street, Duke Street, Ingram Street, West George Street, Nelson Mandela Place and George Square.

Parking, waiting and loading will also be banned in George Square, High Street, Cathedral Square, Ingram Street and others from midnight to 7pm.

A spokesman for Glasgow City Council said: "In recent years, we have negotiated with the organisers to reduce its impact on the wider life of the city – with the event now comprised of fewer individual par-ades, covering a shorter part of the day."

The council will also take a decision today on whether to allow a march organised by The Black Skull Corps of Fifes and Drums.

The band have submitted a request to march from the East End to Glasgow Cathedral to mark the anniversary of the band's first engagement.

Black Skull march organiser William Faulds said: "We have held the parade annually since July 6, 2002 without any problems."

It is estimated the cost of policing the event will be more than £500,000.

ewan.fergus@ eveningtimes.co.uk

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