Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Put Forward Green Travel Plan; Club Will Give Pounds 233,000 a Year to Scheme

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

United Put Forward Green Travel Plan; Club Will Give Pounds 233,000 a Year to Scheme

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony Henderson Environment Editor

ATRAVEL plan is in the pipeline to move more Newcastle United fans on match days - but not by car. The green plan is being proposed to reduce the number of Newcastle United fans using their own vehicles to go to home matches.

The club wants to encourage alternative and more sustainable ways of travel to games and with gates of around 50,000 United would score some significant environmental points.

The travel plan would be funded by annual contributions of pounds 233,000 from the club.

Today, United will ask city councillors to agree to a revision of an agreement reached eight years ago when planning permission was granted for an extended St James's Park. This required the club to contribute to various highway improvements and also to provide agreed levels of car parking.

Separately, the club provides subsidised public transport in the shape of the Magpie Mover scheme, via an annually negotiated deal with Network Ticketing, which is jointly owned by the transport operators of Tyne and Wear including Nexus and the bus companies.

This allows match day travel by public transport for supporters within Tyne and Wear at just pounds 13 for the whole season.

The Magpie Mover scheme started with a take-up of around 3,500 and that has now doubled but it is considered that the scheme has much greater potential.

One of the main aims of the new plan is to boost Magpie Mover, which would be overseen and promoted by the city council, but would continue to be run by Network.

Under the original agreement, where the club cannot provide the required number of car parking spaces it must make additional payments towards public transport provision.

As part of the revision to the agreement these payments up to the end of the 2007/08 season will be used as funding for the new Supporter Travel Plan to promote sustainable travel to home games.

United wants to replace the current system based on two separate agreements with the council and Network Ticketing with one agreement with the council, and planners are recommending approval. …

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