MOTORISTS are being urged to keep the roads clear for this year’s Durham Miners’ Gala or risk having their vehicles towed away.

This year’s “Big Meeting” takes place on Saturday, July 14, and as usual streets in and around the city will be closed to traffic for much of the day.

No vehicles – not even bicycles – will be allowed on the following routes between 6am and 8pm on Gala Day: Framwelgate Bridge; Silver Street; Market Place; Saddler Street; Owengate North and South Bailey; Dun Cow Lane; Bow Lane; Elvet Bridge; New Elvet Bridge; Territorial Lane; Green Lane; Elvet Waterside; Court Lane; Elvet Crescent; Old Elvet; New Elvet plus Pelaw Leazes to Baths Bridge.

Church Street, Hallgarth Street and Whinney Hill will also be closed to vehicles, but some residential access-only will be maintained when possible.

Due to safety considerations, the road closures have been extended again this year to include the following between 6am and 8pm: Claypath (between Prince Bishops Car Park and Providence Row); the one-way eastbound slip road from A690 to Claypath; North Road (between A690 roundabout next to Bus Station and its junctions with Framwellgate Bridge and Milburngate); Milburngate (between North Road and the access to Framwellgate Waterside) and Crossgate (from the junction with North Road/Framwellgate Bridge to the junction with South Street).

North Road (between the junction with Black Western Hill and A690 junction), Flass Street and Sutton Street will be closed between 6am and 10am and again between 3pm and 8pm.

An additional restriction sees parking banned from 6pm on Friday, July 13 in New Elvet, Old Elvet, Prison Green and Green Lane. This parking measure was brought in after a number of cars had to be towed away in previous years. Police found several owners had parked up before enjoying a night out in the city and then returned the next day expecting to pick up their vehicles. Any vehicles remaining in the Elvet area after 6pm on Friday may be removed by the police under the contract vehicle recovery scheme. It will cost owners a recovery fee plus any storage charges to get their vehicles back.

A police spokesman said: “There will be tens of thousands of people on the streets and we want to make the day as safe and enjoyable as possible. That means there needs to be some traffic control and parking restrictions in the city centre, both on Gala Day and the night before.”