SUNDERLAND fans are being urged to use a free bus service to travel to Newcastle for the Tyne-Wear derby.
The buses, which depart from the Stadium of Light, will take fans directly to and from to St James’s Park.
The fixture takes place only four days before Christmas, and public transport across the region is expected to be exceptionally busy.
There will be no special Metro services operating.
To avoid any delays in getting to the game, fans are being strongly advised to take advantage of the free bus service provided by the club.
Supporters with a valid match ticket, who have not yet requested a ticket for the bus service, should call the Stadium of Light ticket office on 0191 551 5004 between 10am and 5pm Monday-Friday, and a bus ticket will be posted out to them.
Buses are scheduled to depart from the Stadium of Light at 11.15am, to ensure supporters arrive at St James’s Park in good time for the 1.30pm kick off.
Buses will board from 10.30am in the green car park, located next to the ticket office/Black Cat House.
The bus convoy will follow the most direct route on the day and will be escorted by Northumbria Police for the duration of its journey to and from the stadium.
The east stand concourse at the Stadium of Light will be open for the comfort of supporters from 10am.
Catering services and toilet facilities will be available until the buses depart.
Sunderland AFC head of safety Paul Weir said: “We want to aim to ensure that supporters get to the game on time, and the complimentary bus service most definitely affords the safest and quickest way for Sunderland fans to make the journey to and from St James’ Park.
“Due to the festive season there will be additional strain on public transport, and we would urge fans to consider using the SAFC bus service wherever possible, to ensure they can get to and from the game quickly and safely.”