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Tyne/Wear Derby - Police Advice

Important information for fans traveling to the Tyne/Wear derby this weekend.

Paul Thomas

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Northumbria Police is advising Sunderland fans of the short hold back taking place at full time after the derby match on Saturday.

As per previous derby matches, officers are asking fans to wait in St James' Park for a short time after the final whistle. The holdback will be kept to a minimum amount of time and is in place for everyone's safety.

Sunderland supporters are encouraged to use the free coaches provided by SAFC, which will leave the Stadium of Light at 10.30am.

On the day turnstiles at St James' Park will open at 11am for the arrival of the first set of coaches from the Stadium of Light, and then 11.15am generally.

Supporters will have access to full catering facilities and after full time the supporters will be able to wait in the bar areas where they will have access to refreshments and toilets.

They will be asked to wait until the immediate area outside of the ground is clear of Newcastle fans then they will be able to leave the ground and make their way to their transport.

The coaches will leave St James' Park for the Stadium of Light swiftly and last season were the quickest way for supporters to get back to Sunderland.

Operations Commander Chief Superintendent Steve Neill said: "The Tyne-Wear derby is a fantastic event that football fans across the region and country look forward to and we're working with clubs, local authorities and fans to make sure everyone has a safe and enjoyable day.

"We're asking Sunderland supporters to work with us as they did last season and stay back for a short period of time after the game - this allows us time to clear the immediate area outside for us to escort them from the stadium and to their transport.

"We've carried out hold backs of supporters in the past at matches both at St James' Park and the Stadium of Light, and they've worked well - fans fully understand why we do it and are co-operative with officers and stewards.

"The facilities will be open so it's as comfortable as possible for the waiting Sunderland fans and we'll bring supporters down as swiftly as possible."

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We've been encouraging as many fans as possible to use the free buses for the derby and we'd just like to re-iterate that again here. It was a shaky start with the bubble, but both clubs and Northumbria Police have been hugely accommodating to fan concerns and pleas since. We can't stress that enough.

It's the safest way to do the trip, the cheapest (for most), and with facilities fully available to fans at both ends of the trip it really does look an appealing option. It was brilliant to be granted the right to choose, but the buses remain an very good choice.

INFORMATION ON THE FREE BUS SERVICE CAN BE FOUND HERE