02/05/2003

Marathon organisers warn of traffic disruption

Organisers of this year's 22nd Belfast City Marathon are warning motorists of the expected traffic disruption throughout most of Bank Holiday Monday.

Disruption can be expected along the routes of both the main Belfast City Marathon and the associated Fun Run which begins at City Hall.

Wellington Place, Donegall Square North, Donegall Square West and Donegall Place will be closed from 7.30am until around 10.30am while there may also be some disruption in Donegall Square North late on Sunday afternoon, during the construction of the starting gantry.

Cromac Square, May Street and Donegall Square South will be closed to through traffic between 8.30am and 9am, and again between 9.30am and around 10.15am.

The main Marathon starts at 9.30am in Donegall Square North, and undertakes a ‘lap’ of City Hall – via Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Howard Street, College Square East and Wellington Place – before turning along Donegall Place and Royal Avenue. Motorists are advised to avoid this area of the City Centre until around 10.30am.

Other roads along the route will be closed at various times during the day, as the Marathon impacts upon them. Disruption is most likely to affect York Street/York Road (northbound), North Queen Street/Carrick Hill (southbound), Divis Street/Falls Road (countrybound lanes), Kennedy Way/Stockman’s Lane/Boucher Road/Donegall Road (Citybound), Lisburn Road (countrybound), Malone Road/University Road (Citybound), University Street (eastbound), as well as parts of the Ormeau Road, Ravenhill Road, Woodstock Road, Castlereagh, Grand Parade, North Road, Upper Newtownards Road, Wandsworth Road, Circular Road, Inverary, Holywood Road and Newtownards Road.

Roads along the first half of the route are expected to return to normal by around 11.30am, and on the second half of the route, where disruption should be less severe, by early afternoon.

The Fun Run, in aid of the Special Olympics World Games Belfast Host City Programme, starts at 10am, also setting off from Donegall Square North, with the following route: Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Howard Street, College Square East, Wellington Place, Donegall Square North, Donegall Square East, Donegall Square South, Bedford Street, Dublin Road, Shaftesbury Square, Bradbury Place, University Road, Stranmillis Road, Ridgeway Street, Annadale Embankment and the Lagan Towpath, finishing at Maysfield Leisure Centre.

Information on the expected traffic disruptions can be obtained from the Traffic Information and Control Centre on 08457 123321, or via www.trafficwatchni.com

(MB)

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