Cruise Ship visits 2023 – traffic management

Thurs 27th April will see the first of 34 (subject to change) cruise ship visits to South Queensferry this season.

As many are aware, the blocking out of the promenade car park all day has long been an issue for residents, visitors and as a result many local businesses.

Over the last few years QDCC has negotiated hard for a call down system which reduces the need for the car park closure on liner days. Gradual phased handbacks of space through some days have been tried but the answer has always been a call down system where coaches stack away from the promenade and are called down on a just in time basis for pick ups and drop offs. This was briefly trialled during Ferry Fair week last year, through necessity rather than design.

Delighted to announce that with adjustments made to that trial, a call down system has now been agreed with all stakeholders and will be employed this year, which means the car park is fully open to the public from 10:30am. The sheer volume of coaches early morning makes it difficult and counter productive prior to 10:30am. Lothian buses (43) can operate as normal with no diversions with this system, not the case if we extended the stack system to early mornings.

  • 5:30am-10:30am – Car park partially closed (same level as previously, i.e. west end of car park still available to public). Coaches operate from east area of car park. Bankhead Rd fully open as normal.
  • 10:30am-1pm – Hawes Car park fully open to public, coaches stack on Bankhead Rd in a call down system, half day excursion coaches drop off/ pick up at Hawes Pier and away. Lothian Buses operate fully as normal, both directions. Section of Bankhead Rd closed to all other traffic which will be diverted accordingly (see map). Access to Rosshill Terr/Station Rd from Hawes Brae along north section of Bankhead Rd will be maintained open for all traffic.
  • 1pm onwards – Bankhead Rd and Hawes car park fully open as normal. Coaches drop off at Hawes Promenade and away.

Whilst this is not the full day call off system we would all like, it has the agreement of all parties, namely Lothian Buses, both excursion coach operators, shipping agents and CEC. Lothian Buses have said a Bankhead Rd closure of more than 3 hours would require them to divert and excursion operators would need to be furnished with portaloos, etc.

The designated areas for parking around the pier are also shown below in the map.

There will inevitably be teething issues, but these will be tackled from the start, please bear with us until the system settles.

We appreciate this causes a slight diversion for drivers going to/from Dalmeny and Hawes promenade area or Station Rd but the wholistic benefits far outweigh that. Unlike the trial last year, the 43 bus service stays fully intact as does access to/from Dalmeny on the south side via Standingstane Rd and Milton Farm Rd.

Note that coach operators are being encouraged to enter/exit Queensferry from the east (B924) using the Burnshot Flyover where necessary. This will reduce the need to use Station Rd.

The schedule for ships can be viewed here, please check regularly for alterations: