'Plan ahead' for Giro traffic disruption

'Plan ahead' for Giro traffic disruption

Alternative public transport plans have been put in place ahead of the Giro d'Italia which is expected to cause traffic disruption in some parts of Northern Ireland.

The cycle race will take place in Belfast, along the North Coast and in Armagh between 9 and 11 May drawing crowds of over 140,000 to its various stages.A number of roads will be closed to facilitate the 200-plus cyclists, while 'controlled crossing points' will be provided to give vehicle access across the routes.The first day of the race takes place in Belfast from 4pm to 8.30pm on Friday 9 May.The affected areas are: Belfast Titanic Quarter, Upper Newtownards Road, Stormont, Newtownards Road (where there will be a crossing point), Queen's Bridge, Oxford Street, Ormeau Road, Stranmillis Embankment, University Road, Bradbury Place, Wellington Place and Belfast City Hall.A practice session will also take place that morning, closing roads from 9.30am to 12.30am.The following day, Saturday 10 May, sees the Giro travel along the Co Antrim coast: Belfast Titanic Quarter, Antrim, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Bushmills, Ballycastle, Cushendall, Waterfoot, Carnlough, Glenarm, Ballygally, Larne, Whitehead, Carrickfergus and Belfast City Hall.Those areas will be closed from 8am to 5pm.Day three, Sunday 11 May, runs from 7am to 2pm, in: Armagh, Loughgall, Richhill, Markethill, Keady, Newtownhamilton, Forkhill and on to Dublin via Dundalk, Castlebellingham, Ballbriggan and Swords.Translink has said there will be timetable changes, diversions and alternative departure points on selected bus services in areas affected by the race.The company is also offering additional train and shuttle bus services to bring people to the weekend's events and back home.Ian Campbell from Translink said: "In summary, everyone should plan their travel in advance and leave extra time for their journeys."This is a great opportunity to showcase the very best of Northern Ireland and we are working closely with the PSNI, Roads Service, race organisers and the NITB to deliver suitable transport plans. We are looking forward to playing our part in successfully delivering this exciting event."

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