sccINTERNATIONAL FOOTBALL FANS travelling to the Stadium of Light on 27 May are advised to kick-off early on their journeys to the game.

A capacity crowd is expected for the match between England and Australia as the international team prepares for the European Championships in France this summer, with tens of thousands of people travelling into the city to enjoy the occasion.

Among these will be first time visitors to both the city and the Stadium, so Sunderland City Council has been working with Sunderland Football Club and community partners to help make the journeys and their stay as enjoyable as possible.

This includes advice on the best routes into the city, information on traffic restrictions, where best to park and the best public transport options to get to and from the match including details of the Park and Ride scheme in place.

Sunderland City Council’s Portfolio Holder for Public Health, Wellness and Culture, Councillor John Kelly said. “Every England supporter will be looking forward to this match, particularly those lucky enough to have tickets for the game in Sunderland, and we want to make the occasion as memorable and enjoyable as possible.

“This obviously includes making their journey to and from the game as easy and stress-free as possible, with a gentle reminder to set off early on their journeys so they have time to enjoy our city centre and visit the Fan Zone at the Stadium of Light before and after the match.”

Construction work for the new bridge over the river Wear inevitably means there will be some roadworks in operation around the city, but traffic plans are in place to minimise disruption (please visit www.newwearcrossing.co.uk for more information).

Motorists are advised that one lane in each direction on the A1231 Wessington Way will be closed to traffic with speed limits in operation, while the Castletown Way junction is closed except for a left turn in for traffic travelling eastbound on the A1231.

People travelling into the city may also want to avoid on-going roadworks in Pallion, where European Way is closed with diversions and temporary traffic lights in operation.