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Wednesday, June 10, 2009
BetterTransportation Promised for Sunderland' s Oasis Concert
Transport chiefs have promised an improved service for tonight's Oasis gig in Sunderland.
About 30,000 music fans poured on to Metro trains to and from the city for Friday and Saturday's Take That concerts.
Some queued for almost two hours before they could start their journey home.
Nevertheless Nexus said it was pleased with how it handled massive passenger numbers for both concerts, and said fans would have expected to have some delays after such a major event.
However, the Metro operator said it had learned lessons from both nights and would make changes in some areas to better manage Oasis fans arriving and leaving the Stadium of Light tonight.
Nexus spokesman Huw Lewis said it was better placed to deploy staff to keep queues moving, and aimed to put in measures to ensure trains arriving at Stadium of Light station were not full, as some were at the weekend when fans walked to the city centre to board the service northbound.
Despite a long wait for a train after Saturday's Take That gig, fans were said to have remained in high spirits, singing "I can see clearly now, the queue has gone," as they go closer to the station.
"It was very good humoured," said Mr Lewis. "People were still enjoying themselves."
He said it was important to show the region's transport infrastructure could cope with large numbers of visitors as Sunderland and Newcastle were vying to become host cities for England's bid for the 2018 football World Cup.
He added: "It's a real advantage to Sunderland's bid because they can point to these events and say they went well."
As well as waiting for the Metro, a number of Take That fans complained of having to queue for up to two hours to get into the stadium, which caused some to miss the support acts.
SAFC said it has received "an overwhelming amount of tremendously positive feedback" on staging some of the biggest ever music events in the region.
The club said 18 entrances were open for people with general admission tickets, although welcoming tens of thousands who were unfamiliar with the layout of the stadium "challenges".
A spokeswoman added: "We do accept that some people experienced a slightly longer wait to enter the stadium than we would have wished and we have identified areas in which we can improve on this for the next event, such as additional directional signage.
"However, the operation was planned and executed to ensure the safety and security of everyone attending the event and all 53,000 guests had entered the stadium at least 30 minutes before the start of pre-show introductions."
Northumbria Police will put more officers on patrol for tonight's gig than at the weekend.
"The profile of the audience is different and our policing will reflect that," said Chief Superintendent Neil Mackay.
"With Take That we had mostly women of a certain age, while for Oasis it will be much younger and lots more men. However we are not anticipating any problems."
via L4e / Source: www.sunderlandecho.com
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