Football and rugby fans have reacted with anger after suffering long delays leaving Sixfields and Franklin’s Gardens in Northampton on Saturday.
Both Northampton Town and Northampton Saints kicked off at 3pm, resulting in about 18,000 fans leaving the area at the same time, causing gridlock for many motorists.
Prior to the weekend, Northamptonshire County Council and the two clubs devised a new traffic management scheme designed to ease traffic flows. The verdict of most fans on social media was that it had not worked.
Dozens of fans tweeted @chronandecho with their views.
Simon Lynch said: “It’s horrific. Been in the car 45 mins and moved exactly 1 yard. This really needs to be sorted out. No wonder people leave early.”
Chris (@oakey3132) added: “Absolute shambles. It has made matters significantly worse than when left to own devices.”
Darren Mayes said: “Traffic chaos in Northampton. It would be better if someone manned the car parks and let a few cars out at a time.”
Guy Bailey said: “It’s not a plan, it’s guess and hope for the best. Has never worked!”
Ashley Elliott said: “Main sixfields roundabout not working, why close two lanes heading towards sixfields from Duston?”
But not everyone was sympathetic to those complaining about the delays.
Lee Walker said: “There are always going to be queues. Can’t expect to get several thousand people out of a town centre at once without them!”
LApap (@LAsnapperPAP) said: “oh no people r having 2wait 30mins 2get home.People need 2get a grip and chill out its not like it takes 4hrs!”
And Ian Payne added: “Traffic plan was great for us! Left #ntfc after the whistle walked back to our car and back in St. Neots by 6pm #perfect”
Leader of Northampton Borough Council, Councillor David Mackintosh, said: “It is never easy when both sports clubs are playing at home at the same time. We asked both clubs to negotiate to try and avoid any clashes but inevitably there are some and today was one.
“The county council worked with the clubs on a traffic management plan that seems to have lead to some big delays for people today.
“Clearly nobody wants that and I will ask the county council and the clubs to listen to people’s concerns and review this on Monday to make any changes ahead of the next clash at the end of October.”
A spokesman for Northampton Town Football Club added: “Saturday was the first time this particular plan has been implemented and we will pass any feedback we receive from our supporters on to Northamptonshire County Council for their consideration.”