Matchday motorists parking close to the Stadium of Light will have to make new arrangements from tomorrow
Sunderland City Council, Northumbria Police and SAFC have agreed to new closures and access restrictions to improve safety for pedestrians in the Sheepfolds area.
The closures are being made on police advice and will stop vehicles trying to force their way through post-match crowds in Hay Street and Millennium Way and come into force for this weekend's home game with Bristol City.
Coun Michael Mordey, the City Council's Portfolio Holder for City Services, said: "The council and its partners at the police and club have agreed to these closures in Sheepfolds to help provide a safer experience for supporters on match days.
"During all home games, high volumes of supporters exit the Stadium of Light into the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate. To help create this safer environment between pedestrians and motorists, roads will be closed to vehicles from the final whistle until approximately 30 minutes afterwards.
"The priority is public safety and ensuring that everyone gets into and out of the stadium as easily as possible."
Alternative and secure parking arrangements include St Marys Way Car Park, Sunniside Car Park and Livingstone Road Car Park.
Supt Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police's Southern Area Command, said: "Public safety is our utmost priority. We want to make sure spectators coming to the Stadium of Light can do so safely and have been working in partnership with Sunderland City Council and Sunderland AFC to address concerns about vehicles trying to drive through large crowds of pedestrians.
"The road closure will help make it safer for both motorists and pedestrians attending on match days.
"We recognise some people may think the road closure is in response to recent terror attacks where a vehicle has been used and while there is no specific threat to our local area or football matches, closing the road to vehicles will hopefully reassure those who may be concerned."
SAFC Safety Officer Paul Weir added: "The safety of supporters and the public is paramount on match days and the issues surrounding exit from the Stadium of Light through this channel have been highlighted by our own reviews and in feedback from our fans.
"We welcome the decision by Sunderland City Council to close Sheepfolds for a short period of time as it will increase supporter safety and their enjoyment on match day. The closure will be supported by the deployment of club stewards and the police, with roads around the area only closed for a short period of time, similar to the club car parks, to allow supporters who are on foot the opportunity to clear the area."