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Travel advice for those heading to the Tall Ships Races Sunderland

Port of Sunderland from the sky

9:18am 13th June 2018
(Updated 9:25am 13th June 2018)

Drivers are being urged to plan ahead if they are travelling to Sunderland to visit the tall Ships Races.

Residents and visitors to the event are being urged to take note of road closures during the five-day festival of sail.

From the 11th to 14th July, the city, which is the start port for the international sailing event, is expecting to welcome up to one and a half million visitors, to see the 55 ships taking part and enjoy a packed schedule of music, theatre, circus and dance.

To make sure the festival goes without a hitch, Sunderland City Council is encouraging people to plan their journeys in advance and listen to 103.4 Sun FM Radio for all the latest traffic and travel advise.

On Thursday 12th July, a Crew Parade of sailors and young people from around the world will start at Burdon Road and make its way to St Peter’s Campus, resulting in the closures of Burdon Road and Park Road for the afternoon.


Sunderland City Council Civic Centre Burdon Road


These closures will be rolled out along the parade route up to the Wearmouth Bridge from 2.30pm, taking in Fawcett Street, Bridge Street, Borough Road and streets connected to the route. 

Roads will re-open as the parade passes.

Wearmouth Bridge, St Mary’s and West Wear Street will be closed between 3pm and 4.30pm with roads re-opening after the crew parade arrives at St Peter’s Campus.


Wearmouth bridge looking north


One of the highlights of the festival will be a breath-taking world record attempt by three performers from Cirque Bijou, who will cross the River Wear on a high wire without a safety net, on Friday 13th July at around 9pm.


Cirque Bijou tight rope walker Chris Bullzini NGC 8


On the evening of Friday 13th July, Wearmouth Bridge, St Mary’s and West Wear Street will be closed completely for the Cirque Bijou performance.

On the final day of the event, Saturday 14th July, the A183 Roker Terrace/Whitburn Road will be closed from early morning until late at night between the Bungalow Café and Morrisons roundabout.

Throughout the event the streets closest to the event zones will be subject to permit closures, to allow access for residents and businesses. 

Visitors should use the variety of event parking options available.

“It goes without saying that we have done everything we possibly can to ensure there is minimum disruption for residents.” says Cllr Amy Wilson, Sunderland City Council Portfolio Holder for Environment and Transport.

“Our aim is to ensure everyone can move around safely and, as we are expecting more than one million visitors to the event during the five days, we would urge people to do a little forward planning.”                                                                                

Event organisers are working with public transport providers to increase their train, Metro and bus capacity during the event.

Bookings for Park and Ride, Park and Walk, coach and Blue Badge parking are now open online.

For further information visit

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