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29 March 2014, 10:21
Cambridgeshire Police are warning of disruption today in the middle of Peterborough due to a demonstration by The English Defence League and a counter-protest by the Trades Union Council.
Cambridgeshire Police will be supported by officers from 11 other forces across the country. The routes have been drawn up following talks with Peterborough City Council, local community representatives, local business representatives and follows negotiations with the EDL and the PTUC.
The EDL march will start at around 2pm in London Road and proceed over Town Bridge, past Bridge Street Police Station and then congregate on Lower Bridge Street at Peterborough Magistrates’ Court.
Temporary road closures will be applied for on London Road and Town Bridge while the protest takes place.
The Peterborough TUC counter-demo, will actually start earlier, at 12.30pm at Bishops Road car park and proceed along Rivergate, and congregate at the Key Theatre car park.
Temporary road closures will be applied for on Rivergate, Bishops Road and some immediate surrounding streets while the protest takes place.
The Rivergate and Bishop's Road car parks are closed ahead of the two demonstrations this afternoon and will reopen as quickly as possible afterwards.
No parking spaces will be available in those locations until around 6pm
Peterborough district commander Supt Tony Ixer said: "These are very similar routes to those used by the EDL and opposition in 2010 when the protests passed off largely peacefully.
These routes will balance the concerns of local people and businesses in Peterborough, while responding to the wishes of the EDL and PTUC.
It provides central locations for both protests while allowing the majority of businesses in the city to continue as usual.
We understand that for businesses in the Rivergate area there will be an impact during the protest and we are working with those business owners, alongside the council, to minimise this and look at alternative ways of drawing in business over the weekend.
At this stage we cannot confirm numbers likely to attend. As and when we have further information we will share this with the public through our various established links with the community.
Peterborough City Council Chief Executive Gillian Beasley said: "Our aim is to make sure this demonstration causes the minimum disruption possible to Peterborough.
The city centre will be open and I encourage people to visit as they would on any other Saturday."
Peterborough Council say their call centre will be open today (747474) for issues relating to protests/demos happening today in Peterborough.