STOKE CITY wish to clarify their position regarding coach parking at the Britannia Stadium on matchdays following an erroneous report in a local newspaper earlier this week.
It had been reported in The Sentinel that the Club was imposing a charge of up to £325 for supporters’ coaches to park on Gordon Banks Drive outside the stadium for the 2013/14 season.
In fact, Stoke City Council have imposed the charge, which is actually £275, in line with their city-wide pricing structure.
The Club plan to allow supporters’ coaches to park on the South Car Park at the stadium – and will give them priority departure from the stadium - but have yet to announce their prices. They will be released to coach operators shortly.
The Club’s Head of Health, Safety and Security Ravi Sharma said: “Permits for parking on Gordon Banks Drive are issued by Stoke City Council and we have no control over the pricing strategy for those permits.
“We do, however, have an obligation to ensure better access and egress for supporters on a matchday and that is something we take extremely seriously.
“Since moving to the Britannia Stadium we have encouraged supporters to travel to the Britannia Stadium by coach. That has proved so successful that Gordon Banks Drive, which has space for 50 coaches, has become over-subscribed.
“That raised concerns from the police, the City Council, the Safety Advisory Group and the Club about safety and congestion on the roads around the stadium at key time.
“After long consultations involving all parties we came to an understanding that we had to improve matchday coach parking.
“The cost to park a coach on Gordon Banks Drive was traditionally low, and included a match ticket for drivers. We urged the Council to set a lower price but without success.
“We have also made provision for extra coach spaces at the stadium for those who couldn’t secure permits before as mass transportation on a matchday remains our priority and coaches will continue to be given priority departure after the final whistle.”
The Club would like to place on record its disappointment at the inaccurate reporting which led to the confusion.