Newcastle United fans urged to set off early as they head to Liverpool

The M62 is the highest motorway in England and a large stretch of it remained closed due to the weather. Pic: PA.
The M62 is the highest motorway in England and a large stretch of it remained closed due to the weather. Pic: PA.

Newcastle United fans heading to the Premier League game against Liverpool at Anfield could have problems using the M62.

A large stretch of the trans-Pennine route has been closed since yesterday as the exposed motorway was blasted by strong winds and heavy snow brought by the 'Beast from the East'.

That's the route which Magpies fans heading to Merseyside by road will use, and the Army was today drafted in to help rescue vehicles from the Pennine hills on the motorway, which police said is closed "indefinitely" between Rochdale, Lancashire, and Huddersfield, West Yorkshire.

Drivers and passengers spent up to 18 hours in their vehicles amid sub-zero temperatures and gale-force winds reaching 90mph.

Newcastle have sold their 2,900 allocation of tickets for the game tomorrow, and Liverpool are confident it will go ahead as planned.

The game, which kicks off at 5.30pm, is being screened live on television, and the question has been asked whether Liverpool should be prepared to refund Newcastle fans the price of their ticket if they follow police advice and don't travel.

Jim Robertson, writing for NUFC online fanzine The Mag, said he believes Liverpool have a moral obligation to give refunds to any fans (home or away) who don't make the game.

"Advising Newcastle fans (and their own supporters) to make sure they are up to date with travel advice is one thing, that advice helping supporters to actually get to the game is quite another.

"As I write this on Friday morning, the M62 is still closed and people have been trapped on that stretch of road all night, police urging people not to travel unless absolutely necessary.

"Even if everybody is still intent on trying to get to the match, Liverpool do in my opinion have this moral obligation, with these weather conditions being so extreme. The last thing any of us want to see/hear are people getting into serious trouble trying to get to and from the match."

Newcastle United had advised fans to allow additional time for their journey to and from Anfield, as they will have to contend with adverse weather conditions and scheduled disruption to rail services.