Queen's death: What should we expect to happen in Scotland? Road closures, schools and public transport

Much of ordinary life will continue as normal across Scotland during the period of national mourning as the country mourns the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Schools and the vast majority of public services are expected to remain open as normal throughout the period of national mourning.

However, it is not yet clear whether there will be widespread closures on the day of the Queen’s state funeral, with details about the event yet to be announced by Buckingham Palace.

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Edinburgh will be subject to the majority of the disruption in Scotland, with the Queen expected to lie in state in the capital before being flown to London early next week, likely on Tuesday.

The city will also host major ceremonial events to mark the Queen’s passing over coming days, with full details yet to be confirmed by the royal household.

The Queen is expected to rest in Holyroodhouse before being moved via a procession to St Giles Cathedral on Monday where she will lie in state for 24 hours, allowing the public to view her coffin.

Much of Edinburgh’s Old Town has been shut to prepare the city centre. Stretches of the Royal Mile and surrounding roads were closed by Edinburgh City Council on Friday morning.

Barriers are beginning to be put on place on the Royal Mile in preparation of the Queen's body arriving in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa FergusonBarriers are beginning to be put on place on the Royal Mile in preparation of the Queen's body arriving in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Barriers are beginning to be put on place on the Royal Mile in preparation of the Queen's body arriving in Edinburgh. Picture: Lisa Ferguson

Two primary schools, the Royal Mile Primary School and Abbeyhill Primary School, alongside the Cowgate Early Years Centre, have been shut ahead of the expected arrival of thousands of visitors.

Pupils will be taught via remote learning for the two days of disruption.

However, schools across Scotland are otherwise expected to be open, with the public encouraged to check with their local authority for updates following the announcement of details around the Queen’s funeral.

No guidance warning of potential school closures has been issued by the Scottish Government.

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Edinburgh City Council said it was working with the Government and Police Scotland to accommodate those expected to line the streets to pay their respects, with street bins removed and warnings of a lack of facilities for those visiting.

Council leader Cammy Day said: “On behalf of the whole city of Edinburgh, I offer our heartfelt condolences to all the members of the royal family at this time of sadness and sorrow.

“Our city is highly experienced in handling major events, and we are working closely with Scottish Government, Police Scotland and transport providers to safely accommodate the large crowds of visitors who will wish to pay their respects to Her Majesty The Queen and the royal family over the next few days.

“Given the scale and significance of these ceremonial events, we have to be prepared for significant disruption across the city, but particularly in the city centre.

"We’re closely working with our partners to manage this as best we can and to keep residents, businesses and visitors updated on all plans.

“We are also urging everyone to consider their travel needs and avoid any journeys through the city centre where possible.

“If they do need to travel, we’re asking them to plan ahead, allow extra time for their journeys and follow the very latest travel advice.”

Train and bus services are expected to run as normal across Scotland. However, there is the potential for additional services on ScotRail.

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Edinburgh Airport, where the Queen’s coffin is expected to depart Scotland on its journey to London on Tuesday, is advising passengers booked on flights for Monday and Tuesday to check with airlines ahead of travelling.

There is the possibility of minor disruption or changes to flight times and potential road closures around the airport on the day the coffin leaves Edinburgh.

The Scottish Government, which issued guidance on the national mourning period on Friday morning, asked people to follow instructions from stewards or police if they travel to Royal Residences including Balmoral Castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse.

They said: “During the next few days, public transport in areas where ceremonial or commemorative events are taking place will be very busy. As a result, journeys may take longer than usual.

"People are encouraged to plan journeys in advance and check routes before travelling. Information is available from Traffic Scotland.

"Those who wish to lay floral tributes near Royal Residences in Edinburgh and Balmoral are asked to do so only in designated areas, as directed by stewards. A queuing system will be in place at the Palace of Holyroodhouse.”

Edinburgh Castle is also closed due to ceremonial activities taking place, but is expected to reopen to visitors on Tuesday.

It is understood all CalMac ferry services will also run as normal, providing lifeline services for the Scottish islands. All vessels will have their flags at half mast as a sign of respect.

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Court and tribunal business will also continue from Monday during the period of mourning, the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Service said.

Both men and women’s Scottish football has been postponed this weekend, the Scottish FA confirmed, “as a mark of respect” following the monarch’s death.

It follows a similar decision by the English football authorities, which has also seen all matches, down to schoolboy level, postponed.

Rod Petrie, president of the Scottish FA, said discussions with partners had concluded such a move was “appropriate”.

Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL, added: “The passing of The Queen, a constant in our lives for 70 years, is a profound and momentous occasion.

"It is therefore appropriate that professional football marks this event with all possible solemnity.”

It is not yet clear whether Rangers’ match with Napoli at Ibrox in the Champions League, scheduled for Tuesday, or Celtic’s match in Warsaw against Shakhtar Donetsk on Wednesday and Heart of Midlothian away to Rigas Futbola Skola on Thursday will go ahead.

Conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland also said it would cancel or postpone any public engagement events during the period of national mourning.

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However, properties will remain open as scheduled, with the exception of the day of the state funeral when they will shut.

Gardens and grounds will remain open for “quiet contemplation”.

All episodes of the brand new limited series podcast, How to be an independent country: Scotland’s Choices, are out now.

It is available wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts and Spotify.



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