Shoppers set for showdown with Cobblers and Saints traffic in Northampton today

Traffic chaos is predicted due to Cobblers and Saints both playing this Saturday
Traffic chaos is predicted due to Cobblers and Saints both playing this Saturday

‘Heavy congestion’ is expected in Northampton town centre today - with a clash of Saints and Cobblers home games set to contend with one of the busiest shopping days of the year.

The town’s football and rugby clubs have produced a traffic plan to try and minimise the disruption with fans advised to plan journeys and car share where possible.

Today Saints are at home to Italian side Treviso with a 3.15pm kick-off, while Cobblers are to play Plymouth Argyle at Sixfields with a 3pm start.

The clash, which is expected to create the most congestion in the St James area, has resulted from the Saints’ game having been chosen by BT Sport for live TV coverage, and because of the long distance the Plymouth supporters will need to travel to get to Sixfields.

In addition, motorists heading to the M1 motorway are advised to avoid junction 16 and instead use junctions 15 and 15A.

Northamptonshire County Council cabinet member for transport, highways and environment, Councillor Michael Clarke, said: “Both clubs have been working together to keep fixture clashes to a minimum but unfortunately in this case it has been unavoidable.

“We’re tying to make people aware that there will be very heavy traffic in the Sixfields and St James areas of the town on the afternoon of Saturday, December 13, around the kick-off and final whistle times and for people to tailor their journeys accordingly.”

Roadside electronic signs in Northampton will also advise of the potential congestion.