Football fans in South Tyneside planning to attend Newcastle United’s Boxing Day game have been handed a boost after the Magpies agreed to underwrite the cost of additional public transport on the day.
The match between Newcastle and Everton at St James’s Park has been moved to a 5.30pm kick-off.
Selected bus routes and the Metro were due to run until 6pm and 8pm respectively, meaning some fans faced a potential nightmare return journey, with the match due to end at about 7.30pm.
However, Newcastle have now agreed to pay for Metro services to operate from Newcastle for an extra hour on all routes, with final services to be at about 9pm.
A host of bus routes have also been extended by an hour, including bus number 58, which will depart towards Heworth at 7.47pm.
Normal fares will apply to passengers on all Metro and bus routes, and Magpie Mover passes will be valid within existing terms and conditions.
Lee Marshall, PR and supporter liaison manager at Newcastle United, said: “Given the exceptional circumstances of kick-off moving to a later time on Boxing Day, we have taken steps to ease disruption for supporters and staff.
“We’d like to publicly thank Nexus and Go North East for their co-operation and meticulous planning, which mean tens of thousands of people will still be able to make their way to and from St. James’ Park safely and conveniently.”
Director of finance and resources at Nexus, John Fenwick, said: “Metro will be operating for an extra hour on Boxing Day due to the later kick off at St James’ Park.
“This will mean there will be Metro services from the centre of Newcastle until 9pm, instead of the usual 8pm run off time.
“We have worked closely with the Club and other key stakeholders to ensure that there are sufficient public transport services available after the match. We are grateful to the Club for helping us to support the running costs.”
Mark Ellis, development manager at Go North East, said: “We know how important getting the bus to the match is for Toon fans and we’re really pleased that we’ve been able to work in partnership with the Club to deliver a transport solution for Newcastle United fans.”
Please find a full list of final Go North East bus services departing Newcastle city centre on Boxing Day below: