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Parade disruption must be addressed – Leonard

12 May, 2008

Sinn Féin's Billy Leonard has said that he has once again received numerous complaints about the length of time Garvagh was blocked because of Saturday night's band parade.

He has said that the common sense principle of parading on one side of the street should be observed to let people go about their normal lives.

Leonard added:

"The number of Friday and Saturday nights in Garavgh and Coleraine that will adversely affect people's normal lives will now increase over the next few months.

Already people are complaining to me of six to ten mile diversions to get home on Saturday night and then there are people who do not know the local roads, losing valuable time. We know of the similar problems when Coleraine comes to an even greater standstill during the many parade nights

This is an annual and real problem yet none of the authorities like the Parades Commission and the Police seem to grasp the nettle. There are provisions to keep parades to one side of the road thus enabling traffic to flow and therefore people to get to their destination without the hassle they are constantly suffering.

It really is time to think of others and not simply talk about a right to parade. Who has the right to block a town on a regular basis for smaller parades like Saturday night?" ENDS

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