A THREE thousand strong Orange parade planned for Port Glasgow is to be re-routed following complaints from police and transport chiefs.

Organisers wanted to march through the town centre then along the A8 to Coronation Park and back on Fair Saturday, June 29.

But there were objections over the fact that the procession would close the A8 for more than four hours.

Police said this would have major repercussions for residents, road safety and, in the case of any accident, affect the capability of emergency services.

A spokesman for Inverclyde Council said: “The intended route of the proposed Orange Order walk could lead to the A8 being closed for four hours or more.

"The A8 is the main route in and out of Inverclyde and this could have serious repercussions for local residents, road safety and the ability of the emergency services to respond in the event of an incident.

"It would also entail a 50 mile diversion for motorists and HGVs

"Police Scotland and Transport Scotland both objected to the proposed route."

Talks have now been held between the Grand Lodge of Scotland and the council to agree a new route and minimise disruption.

The parade will now leave from Ardgowan Street and go through the town, with marchers assembling at the town's park and ride for speeches rather than Coronation Park.

Robert McLean, executive officer of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, told the Telegraph that changes in detail prior to such an event were part of the planning.

He said: "It is one of the main parades that takes place every 12 years.

"The County Grand Lodge of Ayrshire, Renfrewshire and Argyll, all the lodges in that area converge on Port Glasgow.

"We spent a lot of time with the council, police and local people as part of the planning process.

"We are looking forward to a good day in Port Glasgow at the end of June."

Port Glasgow West Community Council had also objected to the original route.

Secretary Tommy Rodger said: "It is Fair Saturday.

"People will be starting their holiday journeys, and would be greatly hindered trying to access the Port Glasgow train station, the McGill’s Buses timetable would be totally disrupted, bus journeys for passengers would take ages and car and bus commuters on the A8 would face tailbacks either side of Port Glasgow.

"This chaos on the A8 at Port Glasgow would put at risk potential connections for flights and other travel links."

Port councillor David Wilson today welcomed the decision to change the proposed route.

Councillor Wilson said: "The parade will now leave Ardgowan Street and go through the town.

"A wreath will be laid at the war memorial and people will now gather at Highholm Street Park and Ride instead of the Coronation Park for speeches.

"It is a sensible solution."