Jul 6 2012 by Johnathon Menzies, Stirling Observer Friday
A SENIOR police officer warned that anti-social behaviour during a large-scale Orange Order march in Stirling tomorrow (Saturday) “will not be tolerated”.
Around 10,000 marchers, including up to 70 flute bands, are expected to gather at Kings Park for 11am. The procession, organised by the County Grand Lodge of Central Scotland, will get underway at noon.
Superintendent Gordon Dawson, Central Scotland Police’s area commander for Stirling, said: “We want those attending to enjoy the event but any instances of anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated.
“Stirling is one of the top tourist cities in Scotland and the city is for all to enjoy.
“There will be congestion and road closures. However, we will be using our Facebook page, the Central Scotland Police website and Twitter feed @cspcomms on the day to give up-to-date information.”
SNP councillor Jim Thomson complained: “There is absolutely no need for our residents to be caught up in the inevitable disruption this march will cause and the potential for public disorder is well documented.
“I genuinely hope my fears are unfounded and that this event passes off without incident but if it doesn’t there will be serious questions to answer afterwards.”
Lodge spokesperson Charles Cefferty said: “The Orange Order can get a bad press, often from people who don’t understand what it is that we’re about.
“We’re not the sectarian organisation that some people think we are – far from it. Parades like Saturday’s are about celebrating our culture, heritage and tradition.”
The parade will go along Kings Park Road, Victoria Place and Queens Road then turn left and head to Raploch.
It goes along Raploch Road and back through Drip Road towards the city centre.
The parade follows Cowane Street, Viewfield Place, Barnton Street, Murray Place, King Street, Corn Exchange Road, Albert Place and Clarendon Place on its way back to Kings Park, where the principal speaker will be Pastor Ian Loughrin.
Stirling Council said that parking in Victoria Place will be suspended for part of the day on Saturday and there will be no parking on Barnton Street, Viewfield Place, Murray Place and the Thistle Marches entrance while the parade is underway.
Bus services will also be affected, particularly on Barnton Street, Viewfield Place and Murray Place.
Park and ride bus services from Springkerse and Castleview, including the shuttle to Stirling Castle, will be disrupted during the procession.
A council spokesperson said: “Our road traffic team has agreed a series of rolling road closures to try to keep traffic moving around the city centre whenever possible.”