Travel advice for fans ahead of North East derby
Northumbria Police are issuing traffic advice to supporters travelling to the Stadium of Light this weekend.
On Saturday (February 24) Sunderland will play Middlesbrough at the Stadium of Light in a 3pm kick-off.
The force has been working closely with colleagues at British Transport Police, Cleveland Police, both football clubs and Sunderland City Council to ensure an enjoyable match for all.
Due to the short distance between the two clubs a dedicated additional train has been put in place for Middlesbrough fans to travel to and from the fixture.
Police anticipate the transport links into Sunderland and roads around the stadium will be busy and are encouraging fans to leave extra time to make their way to the stadium.
Officers will be on duty throughout the day to make sure any disruption is kept to a minimum.
Chief Superintendent Sarah Pitt, silver commander for the match, said:
"The passion of our local football fans is something we are really proud of in this region and many of our police officers share that enthusiasm.
“We’re looking forward to the match and welcoming Middlesbrough fans to our fantastic city and hope supporters are looking forward to what promises to be a great family event.
“Our priority is always the safety of the public, but our officers are also there to help supporters from both teams and will be available to offer any advice or reassurance they need. They’re a friendly bunch and I would encourage people to stop and speak to them.
“We do anticipate there will be more supporters travelling by train than at most other home fixtures so plans are in place to manage that and ensure everyone arrives at the stadium safely and on time.
"Supporters should leave plenty of time for their journeys and if anyone has any concerns then just speak to one of the officers on duty. Our message is simple, stay safe and enjoy the game!"
The dedicated additional train will leave Middlesbrough at 1.05pm and arrive at St Peter’s station at approximately 1.53pm. This service will be a dry train and will not make any stops before arriving in Sunderland.
Supporters coaches will also be available, leaving the Riverside Stadium at 12.40pm arriving at the stadium around 1.35-1.40pm. Coaches not wishing to meet at Riverside Stadium can join the convoy at Hawthorn/Easington Services on the A19 as it passes northbound at 1.15pm.
Following the match away supporters have the option of remaining in the stadium to let home crowds pass before making their own way home, or to their transport. There are two bars in the stadium which will be available to fans after the match. If they wish to leave on the full-time whistle they'll be allowed to do so.
Coaches will leave at approximately 5.30pm.
A return direct additional train to Middlesbrough will leave from St Peter’s Station at 5.25pm.
This service will also be a dry train and will not make any stops before arriving in Middlesbrough.