The unusual fixture clash – with City playing Crystal Palace (7.45pm kick off) and United hosting Middlesbrough (8pm) – will mean large crowds at both stadiums on the same night and lots of extra traffic on the roads including motorway routes such as the M62, M60 and M602. Almost 9,000 fans are expected to travel from Middlesbrough.
Christopher Chadwick, events planning manager for Highways England, said:
With two sets of home fans used to getting to their stadiums, this is a little bit different to the Rugby World Cup and Super League events a couple of Saturdays ago. But we’re still urging supporters to plan their journeys and think about how they’ll be getting to the game and home again – especially with the prospect of extra time and penalty shoot-outs as there are no replays in the competition.
We’re doing our bit by delaying routine repairs and maintenance on the motorway network on the night. As well as monitoring traffic from our regional control centre, we’ll have people counting traffic as fans head out of Manchester to ensure we don’t start any overnight roadworks too early and hinder people’s journeys home.
Drivers are being urged to check travel conditions before setting out on journeys. Highways England provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins and electronic road signs. Information is also available from Twitter via @highwaysNWEST.
Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways England customer contact centre 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.