Press release

Advice for rugby fans heading to Newcastle

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Rugby fans heading to Newcastle for this weekend’s Rugby League Magic Weekend are being advised by Highways England to plan their journeys.

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The Magic Weekend, which will take place on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May, will see 12 First Utility Super League teams take part in 3 games on each day. The St James’ Park event also includes live music and a fanzone.

Last year’s event was attended by more than 67,000 fans, which means some of the surrounding routes including the A1, the A19 and the A184 are likely to be particularly busy.

The matches are scheduled to start at 2.30pm, 4.45pm and 7pm on Saturday and will start at 1pm, 3.15pm and 5.30pm on Sunday.

Andrew Charnick, emergency planning officer for Highways England, said:

We’re expecting the roads around Newcastle to be particularly busy this weekend so we’re advising drivers to plan their journeys in advance and allow extra time.

Our regional control centre in the North East will be 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 rugby fans and other motorway users on the move.

Drivers are being reminded key road projects are underway – typically with narrow lanes and reduced speed limits along the A1 near Newcastle and in North Yorkshire.

There will also be overnight closures, between 8pm and 6am, on Saturday and Sunday night on the A1 northbound between junction 50 and Scotch Corner and southbound between Scotch Corner and junction 51, and on the A1 at Holystone Interchange on the northbound carriageway.

Drivers are being advised to:

  • plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
  • check travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys
  • ensure they and their cars are fit for the trip to Newcastle – including taking regular breaks and topping up with fuel.

Highways England provides live traffic information via their website, on local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile apps. Local traffic information is also available on Twitter at @highwaysNEAST.

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.

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

Media enquiries

Journalists should contact the Highways England press office on 0844 693 1448 and use the menu to speak to the most appropriate press officer.

Published 18 May 2016