Major traffic delays – thought to stem from University students moving into their halls of residence – caused chaos on the roads around Sheffield city centre ahead of this afternoon’s game between Sheffield United and Preston North End at Bramall Lane.
Fans of both sides were hit by delays from almost every angle coming into the city centre, with North End’s team coach arriving later than expected. The referee for the game, Scott Duncan, and his team of officials were also delayed arriving at Bramall Lane.
James Shield, The Star’s Blades writer, reported his journey from Sheffield train station to the Royal Standard pub, on St Mary’s Road, taking an hour and described the traffic as ‘ridiculous’.
“If we can put a man on the moon, surely it's possible to ensure student 'moving in' day and a football match don't clash?” he added.
“Joking aside, United should tell the EFL, supported by Sheffield Council and Sheffield Hallam Uni, that they can't stage any more games when thousands of students are moving into accommodation. It's unfair on two clubs and, more importantly, two sets of paying fans.
“Not to mention other residents of Sheffield, students included, the emergency services trying to answer calls in that traffic, and anyone else passing through the city.”
United posted multiple messages on their official social media channels advising fans to give extra time for their journey, while roadside signs advised that today would be ‘moving-in’ day for many students.
One fan attending the game arrived half an hour after kick-off. His journey from Hillsborough, which normally takes around 15 minutes, took almost two hours.
Stephen Hall added: “Maybe the council should sort out the city’s transport links and there won’t be a problem.
“I live in Manchester with bigger universities and larger football attendances and it doesn’t cause an issue.”
Suzanne Ibbotson said: “Utter chaos for everyone. Trying to get anywhere near is virtually impossible. After last year’s mess the council, Hallam and the club should have requested an away game for us.”