THERE was anger last night over the prospect of the city centre grinding to a halt on Saturday as nationalists go on the march yet again. A three-hour programme of road closures will cause widespread disruption and traffic delays – despite the number taking part expected to be only around 2,000-3,000.
The event is part of a series of “emergency” marches across Scotland being held as a result of the outcome of the General Election. However it has been organised by local people who stress it will be a “family day”, rather than coming under the auspices of the extreme nationalist All Under One Banner (AUOB) organisation.
A taxi driver who didn’t wish to be named for fear of being “boycotted” told Inverness news and views: “People like me have a living to make and this doesn’t help. At least gay pride or the Orangemen or whoever only march once in a blue moon or once a year. This lot seem to be at it every other week.
“I’m pretty neutral on independence but it doesn’t matter. They may be enjoying themselves meeting friends with a street party but other people have things to do. I don’t see how they’re helping their cause by holding up traffic and causing so many problems to people wanting to get around on a normal Saturday.”
The so-called “freedom” march is being held under the slogan: “We don’t need permission to choose Scotland’s future.”
First Minister and SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon has already requested permission from Westminster to hold “indyref2”.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week rejected her request and said he will not agree to another independence referendum “under any circumstances” during his five-year term in office. Ms Sturgeon has ruled out the prospect of holding an illegal referendum without Westminster’s permission, although she has indicated she may try to alter the status quo through a court challenge.
Numbers attending a nationalist march in Glasgow two weeks ago were slashed drastically as the day turned into a continuous torrential downpour, with many not fancying doing their singing in the rain.
The forecast for Inverness tomorrow is dry all day, with only the slight prospect of rain.
Streets affected are:
Kingsmills Road will be closed at its junction with Damfield Road to its junction with Darnaway Road, between 12.45pm and 1.10pm; Kingsmills Road at its junction with Darnaway Road to its junction with Union Road, between 1pm and 1.15pm; Kingsmills Road will also be closed at its junction with Union Road to its junction with Midmills Road, between 1.05pm and 1.20pm. Stephens Street will be closed at its junction with Kingsmills Road to its junction with Stephens Brae, between 1.10pm and 1.20pm, Stephens Brae will be closed at its junction with Stephens Street to its junction with Eastgate, between 1.10pm and 1.25pm.
Eastgate will be closed at its junction with Stephens Brae to its junction with High Street, between 1.10pm and 1.25pm. High Street will be closed at its junction with Eastgate to its junction with Castle Street, between 1.15pm and 1.30pm. High Street will be closed at its junction with Castle Street to its junction with Bridge Street, between 1.15pm and 1.35pm, and Bridge Street will be closed at its junction with High Street to its junction with Castle Road, between 1.15pm and 1.35pm.
The Ness Bridge will be closed at its junction with Young Street to its junction with Bank Street, between 1.20pm and 1.45pm, Ness Walk will be closed at its junction with Ardross Terrace to its junction with Young Street, between 1.20 and 1.45pm.
Ardross Terrace will be closed at its junction with Ardross Street to its junction with Ness Walk, between 1.20pm and 1.45pm, and Bishops Road will be closed at its junction with Ness Walk Upper to its junction with Ardross Terrace, between 1.20pm and 1.50pm. Ness Walk Upper will be closed at its junction with Ballifeary Lane to its junction with Bishops Road, between 1.25pm and 1.50pm, Ness Walk Upper will be closed at its junction with Bught Road to its junction with Ballifeary Lane, between 1.30pm and 1.50pm.
Bught Road will be closed at its junction with Bught Avenue to its junction with Ness Walk Upper, between 1.35pm and 2pm. The Infirmary Bridge will also be closed between 12.30pm and 3pm.