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Transport / Extra ferries, midnight buses and shuttle runs laid on for Tall Ships

A photo of the crew parade from the 2011 Tall Ships visit to Lerwick.

EXTRA inter-island ferry sailings, late-night buses and a park-and-ride service are to be laid on to help members of the public enjoy this summer’s Tall Ships festivities.

Organisers have worked with Shetland Islands Council’s transport planning and roads departments both to reduce congestion in Lerwick town centre and make it easier for folk to access the entertainment being laid on.

The Tall Ships Races’ visit to Lerwick will take place in the final week of July, and Shetland Tall Ships Ltd. project manager Emma Miller says an “extensive programme of public transport solutions” has been arranged.

A free park-and-ride service will provide shuttle transport to the event sites at Victoria Pier and Holmsgarth on a loop.

Members of the public can park at either Sound Primary School or the Anderson High School, with a free shuttle service beginning at 7.30am and departing every 15 minutes until the final run at midnight.

A shuttle bus will also operate between Holmsgarth and the town centre, stopping at Freefield on request.

It will depart every 15 minutes from the Holmsgarth stop at Skipidock Beach beginning at 10.55am and running at 10, 25, 40 and 55 minutes past the hour until a final run from Commercial Road at 10pm.

A taxi rank will be in place at the Alexandra Building in the town centre.

Late night buses and ferry services have also been scheduled for anyone attending the evening entertainment, with the 5,500-capacity arena at Holmsgarth sold out on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights for concerts featuring headliners Tide Lines, Peat & Diesel and Queen II.

Buses departing the Viking Bus Station from midnight will travel to Sumburgh, Quendale and Bigton, Walls, Vidlin, Hillswick via Brae, and Mossbank and Toft.

All fares will be charged at £5 per person to all stops, with no concessions.

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There will also be bookings-only late ferries to Whalsay, Yell, Unst, Fetlar and Bressay, while a dial-a-ride minibus service will run through Yell.

Miller said: “Lots of folk are going to want to be able to come and enjoy the event, and we wanted to ensure we offered an enhanced package of public transport and parking facilities.

“We are confident that the arrangements put in place will allow people to access the event safely, efficiently and with a minimum of fuss.

“We are very grateful to the SIC’s transport planning and roads departments for being so helpful, and to the schools for loaning out their car parks.”

From 7.30am on Wednesday 26 July until Sunday 30 July there will be a full road closure on the Esplanade as part of efforts to ensure the security of the event and the safety of participants.

Access to the Esplanade will be permitted each day between 7.30am and 10.30am for legitimate delivery vehicles to access event sites and local businesses.

Additional restrictions will be in place from the top of Church Road to the Stewart Building at Commercial Road.

The Bressay Ferry Terminal will remain open and can be accessed from the north end.

Extra disabled parking areas will be created in the area under Fort Charlotte and on the south side of Church Road, as well as in the back car park of the Co-op supermarket at Holmsgarth.

The spaces will be reserved exclusively for blue badge holders.

The road closure will be extended during the opening crew parade between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday 26 July.

A rolling closure will be implemented from Commercial Road, along the North Road and into Holmsgarth as the parade makes its way from Victoria Pier.

Drivers are advised to avoid the area and expect delays if they cannot.

For the farewell Parade of Sail on Saturday 29 July further road closures will be implemented on Sea Road from the turn up to Seafield, and drivers should not attempt to take vehicles to this area.

Those planning to visit Bressay to watch the Parade of Sail are advised not to bring a vehicle on the ferry.

There will be limited capacity and there is no parking available at the Bressay Lighthouse area.

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