Journey Planning essentials for Olympics Football matches

August 2nd, 2012

The Highways Agency is reminding football fans across the north to plan their Olympic Football journeys – with sell-out quarter final matches at St James Park in Newcastle and Old Trafford near Manchester on Saturday (4 August).

Winning their respective quarter finals in Coventry and Cardiff this weekend would also mean Old Trafford semi-finals for both Team GB’s women’s and men’s teams next week.

The women’s quarter final between the United States and New Zealand takes place at St James’s Park tomorrow (Friday 3 August, 2.30pm kick-off) followed on Saturday by the men’s quarter final game between Brazil and Honduras (5pm).

The Old Trafford men’s quarter final earlier in the day features Japan and Egypt with a noon kick-off. Stadium turnstiles will be open from 9am and ticket holders are urged to arrive early given the airport-type security in place. Olympic action will be shown on the big screens in the stadium before kick off.

Next week’s two Old Trafford semi-finals include the women’s match on Monday (6 August) followed by the sell-out men’s game on Tuesday (7 August) – both kicking off at 7.45pm and both potentially featuring Team GB depending on this weekend’s quarter final results.

Fans collecting tickets on the day of matches at both venues are being advised to get to grounds especially early and people driving to matches and using park and ride sites are being urged to heed advice on the Highways Agency’s electronic messaging signs.

Highways Agency engineers across the North have been working with their contractors over the last year to plan for the football at Old Trafford and St James' Park to help the events run smoothly.

All non-essential roadworks on key routes have been suspended to keep as many lanes as possible available to traffic. Our service providers will be permitted to carry out maintenance at night but all roadworks will have to be cleared before the next day. The Highways Agency has also ensured that contractors delay any overnight roadworks so drivers can get away from Old Trafford and St James Park quickly and smoothly.

Extra patrols of Traffic Officers as well as recovery operators are being deployed at strategic points across the motorway network on match days. Highways Agency Traffic Officers in control rooms in the two Regional Control Centre (RCCs) at Newton-le-Willows and Wakefield are monitoring traffic conditions and setting electronic variable message signs to give advice to drivers.

The ODA is urging anyone planning to drive to the matches to take up parking spaces in the dedicated park and ride sites or risk getting to the grounds late. The ODA is also reminding match-goers to factor in extra time if they are having to pick up their tickets from the venues on the day.

Dedicated Olympics travel advice and information is available at – the official Olympic Games journey planning website complete with social media links – and at:
• The Transport for Greater Manchester website at
• The Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Executive (Nexus) website at

The Highways Agency’s usual live traffic information and journey planning advice services will be available throughout the Olympic Games period.

The Highways Agency provides live traffic information via its website, local and national radio travel bulletins, electronic road signs and mobile platforms, such as the iPhone. Live traffic information is also provided through Twitter – with @HAtraffic_nwest and @HAtraffic_neast and @HAtraffic_pen9 serving North West or North East routes.

Providing they can do so safely, road users can also call the Highways Agency Information Line (0300 123 5000) to keep up to date with road conditions.

Plan your journey – Get Ahead of the Games: The majority of the London 2012 sporting venues are located in and around London, but events are also happening in other parts of the country. You can find out what is happening on each day of the Games, and how your journey could be affected by visiting


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