Dangerous and careless parking around the bet 365 Stadium will be the target of a crackdown on Saturday.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Stoke City FC, Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership are taking part in the operation before, during and after Stoke City’s final home game of the season against Arsenal.
It will target motorists who stop on the A50 exit slip road at Trentham Lakes to pick up or drop off fans, and in other locations around the stadium. It is the third safety operation of its kind this season following previous activity in December and January.
Previous images captured at the club’s home games shows a line of people stood next to the A50 slip road after full time, on the wrong side of the safety barrier, waiting for cars and taxis to pick them up. Drivers then re-join the live carriageway, which is currently subject to a temporary speed limit of 40 mph, from a stationary position, creating a serious hazard to moving traffic.
Malcolm Dawson, strategic manager for highways and transportation services at the city council, said: “Following the tremendous success of previous safety operations at Stoke City home games, there has been a notable downturn in illegal and dangerous activity on the A50 exit slip road to the bet365 Stadium. The numbers of recorded incidents of such activity have been dramatically reduced following the joint safety operation.”
On Saturday, the city council’s mobile CCTV enforcement car and Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership’s mobile camera van will be in the area to deter people from stopping on the slip road and surrounding streets. Anyone caught stopping on the slip road or in contravention of the on-street waiting restrictions could face further action.
Chief Inspector Karen Stevenson, who is based at Longton Police Station, said: “Stopping or slowing on the busy A50 to drop off or collect pedestrians in and around the bet365 Stadium puts a high level of unnecessary risk on both pedestrians and other road users. The police will work with partners to take positive action on anyone suspected of doing this.”
A spokesman for Stoke City Football Club said: “More and more people are taking unnecessary risks by pulling over on the A50 slip road to drop off or collect supporters. They are not only putting their own lives in jeopardy but those of people who just happen to be using what is a very busy road.
“The safety of all football supporters visiting the bet365 Stadium is of paramount importance to us as a club and we fully support the crackdown on people who think it’s acceptable to stop on the slip road.”