Football fans heading out of Manchester and Liverpool for Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final in London are being advised by Highways England to plan their journeys.
Manchester United and Everton are heading down Wembley way on Saturday (23 April) for the first of the weekend’s semi-finals – and with a 5.15pm kick-off, more fans are expected to make the trip by road rather than rail to accommodate the possibility of extra time and a penalty shoot-out if the game ends in a draw.
Routes between the North West and London, including the M6, M40 and M1, are likely to be particularly busy before and after Saturday’s match.
Highways England traffic officers at regional control centres in the North West, the Midlands and Eastern region - which controls the northern section of the M25 - are all on standby to monitor traffic, set electronic signs and dispatch patrols of traffic officers to clear up any incidents as quickly as possible to keep football fans and other motorway users on the move.
Drivers are being reminded key road works are underway - typically with narrow lanes and 50 mph speed limits - with a number of smart motorway projects across the motorway network.
The regional control centres and Highways England’s National Traffic Operations Centre near Birmingham will be keeping a close eye on the potential for heavy traffic moving up and down the country before and after the semi-final.
Drivers are being advised there is much they can do to help themselves by:
- planning and leaving plenty of time for journeys
- checking travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys
- ensuring they and their cars are fit for the 400 mile round trip to Wembley – including taking regular breaks and topping up with fuel.
Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Local Twitter services are also available at @highwaysNWEST .
Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England information line on 0300 123 5000 to keep up to date with road conditions.
Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.
Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.