Derby Day: travel advice for fans

Picture: Michaela Skalska
Picture by: Michaela Skalska.

Northumbria Police has been working with the two football clubs to make sure fans can reach the Tyne-Wear derby on time.

Tens of thousands of football fans will fill St James’ Park on Sunday as Newcastle United host Sunderland AFC in a 1.30pm kick-off.

More than 25 coaches will start boarding at the Stadium of Light at 10.30am, but for the first time fans could have the opportunity to be picked up from Sunderland city centre.

Police say changes to the official supporters coaches mean they are the quickest and cheapest way for people to get to St James’ Park.

Northumbria Police Operations Commander, Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, said: “This is a fantastic occasion between our region’s two biggest football clubs and we are proud to be a part of it.

“As with any major event in the North East, there will be a number of things for fans to consider when deciding how to get to the game but make sure you plan your journey in advance.

“We have worked closely with both football clubs and once again Sunderland AFC have subsidised a number of coaches to get their supporters as quickly and safely as possible.

“We would urge fans to consider this as the best option and contact the club to get a bus pass to allow them to travel from the Stadium of Light prior to the match.

“Everyone in this region understands the passion of fans of both clubs and our number one priority is that we can help to make following your team as safe and enjoyable as possible.”

Fans travelling from the Stadium will be prioritised but any coaches left empty following the 11.15am departure will then travel to Station Street to transport any away fans with a ticket to the game.

Police say that the coaches are the quickest mode of transport, and, at the last Tyne and Wear derby, they made it back to the Stadium of Light before the first direct trains had even left the station.

The stadium’s Fan Zone will be open from 9am for supporters.

However, supporters are being advised that they will not be permitted to take drinks onto the coaches.

Sunderland AFC’s head of safety Paul Weir said: “Without a doubt, the club’s complimentary bus service affords both the safest and quickest way for our fans to make the journey to and from St James’ Park and we would therefore urge fans to take advantage of this free service wherever possible.

“By opening the Fan Zone in the morning, we are aiming to make the whole derby day experience more enjoyable for our supporters, so they can have a drink and a bite to eat and soak up the unique match day atmosphere before boarding the coaches for the journey to St James’ Park.”

Northern Rail will also be providing a direct train service from Sunderland Central station to Newcastle Central station specifically for supporters travelling to the match, which will leave at 11.55am.

There will also be direct Metro services for Sunderland supporters on match day.

These services will not stop between Sunderland Central and Central Station and will leave at 11.58am and 12.06pm.

The escalator from the Metro platform to the main concourse of Central Station will be out of order on the Sunday. However, it will remain open as an additional stairwell.

For the return journey, there are two metros running direct from Central Station to Sunderland Central station. These will be at 4.31pm and 4.46pm.

A Northern Rail service will leave Central Station at 4.24pm.

Northumbria Police and the British Transport Police will be present at both stations to assist football fans and anyone else travelling to and from both cities.

Supporters are reminded that parking is limited around St James’ Park and that public transport remains the best way to get to the game.

There are no road closures in place for the football, but motorists should still avoid the area of St James’ Park on Sunday as the area will be very busy all day.”

Comments are closed.