BOURNEMOUTH council is stressing it is business as normal this weekend, despite two major marches in the town centre.

Supporters of the English Defence League will be taking part in a protest against Islamic extremism while opponents will celebrate the town’s diverse culture with a march of their own.

Both events were due to start around 12.45pm.

But Dorset Police tweeted this morning to say 'both the EDL and counter-protest marches will set off at 1pm. Timing is simultaneous to help manage impact on town.'


There was then a later tweet to say both marches will now start at 12.50pm.

The marches will follow two separate routes in the town centre and seafront area.

The EDL will start in the Square, go up Exeter Road and on to Westcliff via the Overcliff path behind the BIC. The alternative march, organised by Unite the Union, will start from Horseshoe Common, down Old Christchurch Road to Westover Road.

There will be rolling road closures and traffic delays in the Westover Road, Exeter Road and Pier Flyover areas between 12.45pm and 1.45pm.

Dorset Police later tweeted that EDL route has slightly changed. The march will now set off from Terrace Road junction with Exeter Road, not The Square.

Bournemouth council said its primary concern was to ensure the safety of residents and visitors and ensure there is minimal disruption to the town’s economy.