THE world’s biggest band are almost here.
On Wednesday, One Direction will touch down at the Stadium of Light for the opening night of the UK leg of their Where We Are world tour.
Because of the young age of many of the band’s fans, extra safety precautions have been taken with no under 12s allowed on the pitch and special identity wristbands issued. More than 50,000 gig-goers will attend the concert and they’re being advised to plan their travel in advance.
Fans are also being reminded that Metro trains will be running. The planned RMT strike has been called off.
Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Coun John Kelly said. “It is fantastic to stage such world-class concerts at the Stadium of Light here in Sunderland.
“Working with our partners, we endeavour to keep everyone safe and make it as easy as possible to get to and from the event.
“There are a wide range of options available including revised public transport schedules, park and walk and late night opening for several city-centre car-parks.
“I advise all concert goers coming along on Wednesday to make sure they know which option is best for them and to arrange meeting or collection points in advance.
“I hope everyone has a great time and the crowd creates the vibrant welcoming atmosphere that Sunderland is renowned for.”
Where to park
THERE is no public parking available on the stadium complex, with parking immediately around the Stadium of Light also extremely restricted.
Sunderland Enterprise Park is the city’s main Park and Walk facility for the event, with access to the Stadium of Light taking about 20-30 minutes.
Sunderland City Council has a number of car parks in operation across the city, with spaces available at sites including St Mary’s, Sunniside and the Civic Centre, open until 1am and patrolled by parking attendants.
Getting to and from the concert
THERE will be a Metro train every 15 minutes during the day between Newcastle and Sunderland, rising to a train every five minutes after 4pm, with the high-frequency service continuing after the event.
All passengers going to the concert should use St Peter’s station only, which is the nearest station to the Stadium, before and after the concert.
Go North East is providing additional bus services around the Stadium of Light and to areas including South Shields, before and after the concert.
Full advice is on www.nexus.org.uk and through North East Traveline on 0871 200 22 33.
PEAK travel times are anticipated to be between 4pm-7pm and 11pm onwards.
The entire Sheepfolds Industrial Estate to the south of the arena will be subject to tight traffic restrictions all day, with roads completely closed to the public and non-emergency vehicles.
Drivers are advised that two of the three northbound lanes on the Wearmouth Bridge will be closed between 10pm and 1am after the concert to protect pedestrians.
PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF POINTS
ROADS immediately surrounding the stadium will be closed to all traffic on the day and there are no vehicle pick-up or drop-off areas on, or near the site.
Parents wishing to collect youngsters after the show are advised to use the Park and Walk provision, using city centre car parks and then meeting their children at the official rendezvous point within the Sheepfolds Industrial Estate, close to St Peter’s Metro station.
This area will be heavily stewarded to ensure the safety of youngsters.
Vehicles from the south are advised to take the A1018 and A690 exits from the A19 and drop visitors off in the city centre, with the Stadium of Light just a five-minute walk away.
Vehicles from the north and west are advised to use Sunderland Enterprise Park – accessible via the A1231 Wessington Way, which is also the event’s main Park and Walk site.
Queueing and wristbands
TO ensure the safety of everyone attending, there will be no queuing permitted in the days prior to the show.
•Special One Direction-branded identification wristbands are available to all valid ticket holders under 18.
The wristbands include areas for parents to fill in their name, mobile number and seat number as a safety precaution to assist in reuniting parents and children if they become separated.
The wristbands are available from a number of locations, including: Stadium of Light Ticket Office, Sunderland; any of the nine Nexus TravelShops, located either on or next to a Metro station; customer services desk at The Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland.