Northern Ireland

Organisers of Derry Walled City road race apologise after major traffic congestion

Organisers of a 10-mile road race in Derry have apologised following traffic congestion
Organisers of a 10-mile road race in Derry have apologised following traffic congestion (Anna_Anikina/Getty Images)

Organisers of a 10-mile run in Derry have issued an apology amid major traffic congestion in the city during the event.

The Walled City 10-mile road race saw around 2,000 runners take to the streets on Saturday morning with one lane of the city’s Strand Road closed to facilitate the run.

Organisers of the event said the road closure was needed to facilitate a change to the race’s usual course along the city’s quay due to works at the new Pennyburn bridge.

But the closure led to significant traffic problems in the city.

SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan said the congestion had caused “many people inconvenience, some people considerable expense”.

He told the BBC that he had taken part in the race and finished the course quicker than his wife’s three-mile car journey from the city’s Foyle bridge to the quay.

“This could have been avoided if we collectively had been better getting the messaging out to the public and identifying diversions so that people would know to set out earlier and avoid particular areas,” he said.

SDLP Policing Board member Mark H Durkan welcomed clarification over when the report would be published
SDLP MLA Mark H Durkan took part in the race

In a statement, the organisers the traffic delays were “far beyond” anything anticipated.

“We understand the frustration caused by the traffic congestion and sincerely once again apologise for any inconvenience experienced by the community during our event,” they said.

“Moving forward, we will strive to minimise disruptions and maintain the integrity of our event while accommodating the needs of our participants and the public.”

Police are also due to review the event’s traffic management with race organisers.

“We are aware of, and we understand the frustration experienced by drivers who were caught in lengthy and long traffic tailbacks on Saturday,” a PSNI spokesperson said.