PSNI say vehicle share for the G8

Published: 3 May 2013 11:001 comment

THE Police Service of Northern Ireland has promised to keep Enniskillen "open for business" during the G8 summit.

Superintendent Alywin Barton, addressing the G8 public meeting in the Townhall.

THE Police Service of Northern Ireland has promised to keep Enniskillen "open for business" during the G8 summit.

On Monday, local officers, along with representatives from the Foreign Office, the Northern Ireland Office and Fermanagh District Council, met with local traders to discuss combined measures to tackle the inevitable disruption around the event next month.

The road leading to the Lough Erne Resort will be shut for up to two weeks before and after the G8 summit while a large security fence is erected. There will be diversions from the Loughshore Road at Derrygonnelly Road junction with local access to Silverhill while diversions from Belleek will be in place via Church Hill.

Superintendent Alwyn Barton told traders at the meeting that around 3,500 police officers would be deployed to Northern Ireland, with a reasonable number of those in Fermanagh. There will be a road, water and air plan, with air restrictions in place.

"My commander Chief Superintendent Pauline Shields has made it perfectly clear that in order to return Fermanagh to normality as quickly as possibly she expects the engineers to be standing there with their spanners in their hand as the last helicopter takes off to ensure they start immediately to dismantle the security fence so we can get that road open as quickly as possible," he said.

Superintendent Barton said the key message to the people working in Enniskillen is to vehicle share if possible and use public transport.

"Reducing your vehicle footprint in Enniskillen will create more space for customers and workers in the town. Stockpile deliveries if possible, though I understand that may not be possible for everyone. It is important that those visitors coming to the town see it as a lively town and come back and we have no problem policing that. Car parking will continue, the town will remain completely assessable, though there will be some congestion."

There are no plans in place for a camp-site for protesters yet, though the former Unipork site on the Cornagrade Road has been identified as a possible location, according to Fermanagh District Council Chief Executive Brendan Hegarty.

The PSNI says it is working closely with protesters and campaign groups as well.

"Conversations are taking place, a lot of effort is taking place. Protesting is a human right, lawful protest is an entitlement. The IF campaign, for example, consists of a number of charities that want to raise the profile of their causes. We have been engaging with them to try to deliver their objectives," said Superintendent Barton, who explained that a "reasonable number" of protesters are expected to travel to Fermanagh from across the north and south of Ireland but that key demonstrations would take place in Dublin and Belfast.

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