Papal Visit

Major travel disruption likely as Pope tours UK

AA Roadwatch has a new number - call 84322 or enter 'theAA' on your phone keypad

15 september 2010

People looking to welcome Pope Benedict XVI this week, as he rides in the popemobile in Edinburgh, London and Birmingham, are strongly advised to travel by public transport, as there will be major disruption on many roads in these cities, says AA Roadwatch.

If people have no choice but to drive, they should plan their journey carefully to allow for the major road closures, and use Park and Ride facilities, as significant parking restrictions will apply.

Recommended viewing areas

The best vantage points to see the Pope in his popemobile are considered to be

  • Princes Street and Lothian Road in Edinburgh on Thursday (16 September)
  • Saturday (18 September) presents the best opportunity in London along Horse Guards Road, The Mall, Constitution Hill and Hyde Park Corner, and
  • on Sunday (19 September) Hagley Road in Birmingham

On Friday (17 September) in London, there is limited space on the route and the England v Pakistan one-day cricket match at The Oval could add to the congestion.

Travel advice

Comprehensive public transport arrangements are in place for pilgrims attending the invitation-only open-air events in Glasgow, London and Birmingham but other motorists and commuters should time their journeys to avoid the knock-on congestion in these areas.

Edmund King, AA president, says: "You can't simply close main roads in major cities without it having a significant impact on local traffic – combined with the extra traffic the occasion will generate, it will spell significant disruption. To avoid this, use public transport – if you can't, go elsewhere and watch on TV."

Drivers should keep tuned to local radio for traffic updates and allow plenty of time for their journey. The AA's traffic and travel advice line, AA Roadwatch, is 84322 or enter 'the AA' on your mobile phone keypad or call 0906 88 84322 from a landline*.


More information on the papal visit »

Popemobile routes »

Cabinet Office advice »

Official Twitter site »

* Calls to AA Roadwatch cost up to 65p per minute. Calls should not last longer than 90 seconds.


15 September 2010