Pope to cause driver chaos 03 | 09 | 2010

    DRIVERS ACROSS the Central Belt will face chaotic journeys later this month when more than 200 roads in Edinburgh and Glasgow will be either closed, or have new parking restrictions imposed, during the visit to Scotland of Pope Benedict XVI.

    To further compound the misery for motorists, there will be rolling closures to sections of the M8 as the papal motorcade makes its way west during the evening rush hour.

    On the morning of the visit on Thursday, 16 September, some main routes will be shut to enable the Pope to travel from Edinburgh Airport, where he arrives, to the Palace of Holyroodhouse. Later in the day, when he travels via Princes Street and Lothian Road to have lunch with Cardinal Keith O'Brien in Morningside, there will be more closures.

    In the afternoon, as the Pope leaves Edinburgh bound for Glasgow, there will be disruption on the City bypass and M8. Police will shut slip roads on to the westbound carriageway of the roads as the Pope passes.

    In Glasgow, parking restrictions around Bellahouston Park will be introduced from Tuesday, 14 September, with roads closed from the following day.

    After the rush hour on 16 September, a two-mile stretch of the northbound carriageway of the M77 will be shut to become a car park for 400 coaches which will bring 55,000 pilgrims from 160 locations from as far away as Shetland.

    "Delays should be expected," was the understatement from Jim Barton, chief roads engineer at Transport Scotland, "so we urge people to plan their daily journey in advance, leaving more time than usual and considering public transport alternatives where possible.

    "This includes commuters and other people going about their normal business and particularly those using the M77 northbound to reach Glasgow."

    • For travel information see: www.transportscotland.gov.uk/papal-visit

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