Sunderland fans can catch free lift to Newcastle United

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BLACK Cats fans are being urged to catch a free lift to watch Sunderland take on rivals Newcastle United.

Thousands of fans will descend on the Sports Direct Arena next weekend for the derby-day clash.

All Northern Rail trains on the day will be scrapped because of engineering works, so police are urging fans to take up the offer of a free lift to next Sunday’s game.

On the day, Sunderland AFC is putting on free coaches to takefans from the Stadium of Light to the Sports direct Arena.

Fans do not have to book a seat, they just need to turn up on the day with their match ticket.

A special Metro service will also run, travelling non-stop to Newcastle in the morning and returning directly in the afternoon.

Chief Superintendent Dave Pryer, of Northumbria Police, said: “We have been working closely with both clubs in preparation for this fixture. There is no Northern Rail service on the day so Sunderland fans need to think about how they are going to get to and from Sunderland.”

The free coaches will be boarding at 9.30am and leaving the Stadium of Light at 10am to make the noon kick-off.

The Metro will be leaving Sunderland Central at 10.13am and travel non-stop to arrive at Newcastle Central at 10.41am.

Returning, it will leave Central Station at 3.10pm and arrive back in Sunderland at 3.37pm.

Road closures will be in place around Newcastle’s ground.

Both lanes of Barrack Road will be closed from the junction of Strawberry Place and Hunters Road/Brighton Grove between 12.45pm and 2.45pm to enable the SAFC convoy to leave.

During August’s clash on Wearside, which the Black Cats lost 1-0, 21 people were arrested. Police used a metal wall to keep rival fans apart outside the stadium.

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