Important advice for Sunderland fans travelling to Sunday's derby at Middlesbrough

Sunderland fans planning to travel to Sunday's derby at Middlesbrough by train are warned there are no direct rail services before the game.

Friday, 3rd November 2017, 12:51 pm
Updated Tuesday, 12th December 2017, 11:30 am
Sunderland fans during the club's last visit to Middlesbrough in April.

Weekend engineering work means that the first leg of the journey south has to be completed by replacement buses between Sunderland and Hartlepool.

The first direct service by train does not get into Middlesbrough until 1.23pm - more than an hour after the 12.15pm kick-off.

Two combinations of replacement buses and trains do still reach Teesside before the match begins.

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A replacement bus service leaves Sunderland at 8.50am and enables passengers to use the 9.45am Hartlepool-Eaglesliffe and 10.07am Eaglesliffe-Middlesbrough trains to reach Middlesbrough at 10.18am.

The 9.55am replacement bus from Sunderland to Hartlepool followed by the 10.50am Northern train from Hartlepool allows fans to reach Middlesbrough at 11.22am.

Trains back to Sunderland are not affected with direct Northern services north at 2.30pm, 3.10pm and 3.31pm taking between 45-55 minutes.

Supporters using the free buses provided by Sunderland had to collect their passes by noon on Friday.

The club advise that passes must be retained and shown for both journeys and that any supporters without passes will not be permitted to travel.

Concourse facilities, offering food and drink to purchase (including alcohol), will be open in the east stand of the Stadium of Light from 9am on Sunday morning.

The coaches will begin boarding from the green car park, outside the ticket office, at 9.45am and will depart for Middlesbrough promptly at 10.15am.

The club are also showing a free beamback of the Sky-televised derby in Quinn's Sports Bar at the Stadium of Light with doors opening at 10am.

Cleveland Police are expected to shortly issue further travel and safety advice about Sunday's game.