Greenock Morton Football Club wishes to inform fans that, as of Saturday’s home fixture against Inverness C.T., Sinclair Street will remain open to vehicle traffic before and after each game for the foreseeable future.
It is with regret that the car park will be closed to fans due to this ongoing situation, which has been forced upon the club after Police Scotland withdrew their services from points assistance at our car park exit on 4 November.
Their reason was due to a legal challenge where police were closing roads without a Temporary Traffic Regulation Order (TTRO). This applies to not only football matches but processions and parades across Scotland.
In line with many other SPFL clubs, we at Morton have, for many decades, closed Sinclair Street on match days by tradition and repute to maintain safety.
This has now become impossible as it is our understanding that another SPFL club in a similar situation to ourselves were recently reported for informally closing off a street outside their stadium without a TTRO.
The club has been in constant dialogue with Inverclyde Council, who are responsible for TTROs. They have been very supportive and are trying within the restricted limits of legislation to look for a solution to our problem.
They agreed to promote an order on a month-to-month basis; however, this required the club to pay for the administration involved as well as the advertising cost each month.
In addition, we were required to employ a traffic management company for each game to set up diversions and coning. Sadly, the accumulated costs of this ongoing operation is unsustainable for the club.
To complicate matters, East Hamilton Street (A8) which forms part of the diversion route is maintained and governed by Transport Scotland (Scottish Government).
Therefore, any TTRO promoted by Inverclyde Council does not cover East Hamilton Street, which means the police will not carry out points duty.
Transport Scotland have been represented at ongoing meetings held but are unable to assist with re-phasing of traffic lights.
Neither can they give permission for club staff to place diversion signs on the A8 without appropriate expensive training, which again is not an option.
Despite many discussions with all parties there is currently no resolution at this time. Dialogue will continue to reach a satisfactory conclusion. In the meantime, we thank you for your understanding and support.
Further information on queuing at the turnstiles and ticket booth while the road remains open will follow in order that your safety is maintained.
With regard to the car park closure, on-street parking available in the residential area south of the stadium and streets to the east and west off East Hamilton Street. We urge drivers to park legally and responsibly.