Thursday 30 May 2024
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Paid for contentRoad closures, park-and-ride and more: essential information for the Tall Ships Races

The Indonesian tall ship Bima Suci arriving at Lerwick Harbour on Monday. Photo: Davie Gardner

WITH thousands of visitors expected in Lerwick town centre for the 2023 Tall Ships Races this week, several road closures and a park-and-ride scheme will be operating between Wednesday and Sunday.

The Esplanade will be subject to a full road closure between 7.30am on Wednesday (26 July) and 10am on Sunday (30 July).

Access will be permitted between 6am and 10.30am each day for legitimate delivery vehicles only to access event sites and local businesses. Delivery vehicles should access the area from the north end of the Esplanade past the Stewart Building, as vehicle access to and from Church Road will not be available.

A half road closure will be in place from the bottom of Church Road to the Royal Mail depot yard, with no access permitted beyond that point. Access down Church Road will be restricted to Royal Mail vehicles, blue badge holders for parking in designated spaces, and local residents including those in the south Commercial Street and Leog areas.

A number of surrounding roads will be one-way. Burgh Road will run from north to south, Market Street between Harbour Street and Commercial Road will run in a northerly direction only, and Garthspool Road will run downhill only from North Road to Garthspool.

The link road between the Shetland Amenity Trust building and Shearer’s Quay will run from Garthspool to Shearer’s Quay to ease movement by the park-and-ride and shuttle bus services.

Access to the Bressay ferry terminal will remain open, accessible from the north end, and any vehicles disembarking must exit to the right towards Commercial Road. The exception to this will be during the Crew Parade, which means several ferry sailings between 3.30pm and 5pm on Wednesday afternoon will not operate.

The Esplanade closure will be extended during that period, with a rolling closure implemented from Commercial Road, along North Road and into the Holmsgarth area as the parade makes its way from Victoria Pier. Drivers should avoid the area and expect delays if they cannot.

During the Parade of Sail a number of restrictions will be in place on Saturday 29 July between 9am and 6pm to enable the public to access viewing points.

There will be no parking, and vehicular access for residents only, on Sea Road leading to Ness of Sound, the access road to the Knab viewpoint, and the road to the lower cemetery car park in Lerwick (which will be available to blue badge holders).

A one way system and parking restrictions will be in place around the Knab/Twageos area and southwards along Breiwick Road.

In Bressay, vehicle access along the south road to the lighthouse will be restricted to residents’ access only, and there will be strictly no parking along the road, within passing places or at the lighthouse.

Cycle access will be permitted along both Sea Road in Lerwick and the south road in Bressay.


A free park and ride service will shuttle members of the public to both event sites on a loop from the three remote car parking locations at Sound Primary School, South Lochside and the Anderson High School (AHS).

Sound School should be accessed from the Lower Sound roundabout, and AHS access will be along North Loch Drive, where parking is prohibited.

This service begins at 7.30am, departing every 15 minutes from Sound Primary School, and the final run is at midnight.

A free shuttle bus will operate between Holmsgarth and the town centre, stopping at Freefield on request. This bus will depart every 15 minutes from the Holmsgarth stop (Skipidock beach) departing at 10.55am and then at 10, 25, 40 and 55 minutes past the hour until the final run from Commercial Road (Stewart Building) at 10pm.

Both the shuttle bus and park and ride services will be suspended during the road closures for the crew parade on Wednesday, so there will be no service departing between 3.45pm and 5pm.

Late night bus and ferry services will also be available to selected areas, with all fares charged at £5 per person regardless of journey length. Full details are available on the Tall Ships Lerwick website.

Wristbands for the paid-for Thursday, Friday and Saturday night concerts at Holmsgarth can be collected from the Victoria Pier information point throughout the event. Ticket holders are reminded that they must exchange their ticket for a wristband in order to gain access to the site.

Regular event updates will be posted on the Tall Ships Lerwick website over the next four days.


Showcases are advertising features paid for by the client.



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