Brighton & Hove Albion have put substantial contingency plans in place for the proposed rail strike next week.
If the strike goes ahead it will impact matches against Colchester United in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday and then the opening home league fixture against Nottingham Forest.
The Forest match takes place on Friday, August 12, which is set to be the final day of the five-day strike, and the club’s operations team have secured additional parking and bus services for extra park-and-ride sites (should the strike go ahead) at Sainsbury’s, West Hove, and Brendon Equestrian, Pyecombe. More details will follow from the club.
The club is also currently negotiating for additional parking in both Brighton City Centre and Lewes and will be running special shuttles from Maderia Drive/Marine Parade and Lewes Station.
An extra 200 additional spaces at Sussex University have also been secured, which are available to purchase from £12 per car.
The advice for fans is, where possible, come via normal means, but for those fans who usually travel by train, the club advise using one of the above options.
There is also additional capacity at Brighton Racecourse, while Seagull Travel offer coach travel to and from the Amex from a number of pick-up points across the county of Sussex.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber, speaking last week, said, “As I said last week it is hugely disappointing that our fans, along with many others, are being subjected to such inconvenience and uncertainty regarding their travel arrangements to and from matches.
“Our business, like so many others in London and the south east, is now being severely disrupted by the dispute which, as a major customer of Southern, is totally unacceptable.
“It is not for the club to take sides in a dispute to which we are not privy to the details, but both sides should reflect on the damage this dispute is doing to local businesses, the local economy, and to the goodwill of people who need train services for work and leisure travel - and to significant customers such as the football club that are required and committed to encourage supporters to travel to matches by train and bus.
“Meanwhile, we have to plan accordingly, and if the strike does go ahead, which looks likely at this stage, our operations team has been working around the clock to formulate a contingency plan to help our supporters get to and from the Amex.
“They have secured additional park-and-ride sites, and additional bus services to take fans to and from the stadium, and we are confident this will give us the capacity to get everyone in and out for the match.
“We will also continue dialogue with Southern Trains ahead of the two games to see if any services will be running, and we will keep supporters informed of all developments.”
With a smaller crowd expected for the Colchester United match, fans have the option of travelling by bus, Seagull Travel’s coach operation or by using the near-site parking available, with additional parking available at Sussex University, as there will be no park-and-ride sites for this match.
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