Metal wall will separate rival fans at Sunderland-Newcastle derby clash

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RIVAL derby day fans will again be separated by a metal wall when Sunderland take on Newcastle at the Stadium of Light.

Police erected an eight-foot high temporary barrier outside the ground for January’s Wear-Tyne derby, to replace the usual wall of human police officers.

The structure not only kept the fans apart, but prevented them from seeing each other as they made their way to and from the match.

Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, from Northumbria Police’s operations command, said the new cordon system had proved an effective tool in improving safety and will be deployed again for the next clash on August 20.

He said: “A great deal of consideration and planning was given to the use of the cordon system for the first time in January

“It proved itself an effective tactic in a situation where there was the potential for disorder, and helped ensure fans reached and dispersed from the ground safely.

“The system will be in use again at the Wear-Tyne derby on August 20. We will be consulting and working closely with supporters’ associations to ensure the day is as safe and enjoyable as possible for all.”

Match organisers are also advising all supporters that access restrictions will be in place around the Stadium of Light on derby day.

Roads will be closed to vehicles and pedestrians, and fans have been warned to allow extra time due to the high turnout, and that extra security measures which will be in place.

SAFC head of safety and security Paul Weir said: “These measures have been put in place to ensure the safe arrival and departure of all supporters.

“We kindly request fans for their full cooperation and patience on the day of the game, and ask them to listen to instructions from police and safety stewards.

“We also strongly advise everyone to arrive early to avoid any potential delays getting into the stadium.”

Access Restrictions

• Sheepfolds industrial estate will be closed to vehicles on the day of the game and some restrictions will be in place for pedestrians.

• Sunderland AFC said fans should allow additional time for their journey to and from the stadium, in order to take into account the increased attendance and enhanced security measures that will be in place.

• Organisers are asking supporters to avoid the South Stand area of the stadium where possible, both before and after the game.

• Those who had planned to arrive via Millennium Way – past the Stokoe statue – should look to use the access points on Vaux Brewery Way, adjacent north stand, as an alternative.

• After the game, supporters in the South Stand and South East Corner will be asked to exit away from the stadium to their left.

• All other supporters are asked to move away to their right when they leave the stadium, walking past the main west stand entrance, Aquatic Centre and Black Cats Bar areas.