Tens of thousands expected for Newcastle 500, racegoers urged to plan their trip

NSW Police are urging racegoers to plan their trip ahead of time and travel safely on the roads as tens of thousands of people are expected for the finale of the Supercars Australia Championship series, the Coates Hire Newcastle 500.

A high-visibility police operation will be in place from Thursday 21 November to Monday 25 November 2019 in Newcastle, for the third event held in the Hunter.

General duties officers from Newcastle City Police District and across Northern Region, will be assisted by specialist police and Traffic & Highway Patrol Command throughout the operation, focusing on road safety as well as anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence.

Operation Newcastle Supercars Commander, Assistant Commissioner Max Mitchell APM said the event showcases Newcastle on the world stage, with the city welcoming more than 150,000 spectators and visitors over the weekend.

“Our main priority is ensuring everyone is able to enjoy this fantastic event in Newcastle safely, and with minimal disruption to our locals and residents,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

“Police will be out in numbers over the weekend targeting speeding, drink-driving, mobile phone and seat-belt offences, to ensure everyone arrives at their destination safely.

“Here in the Northern Region, 102 people have lost their lives on our roads so far in 2019, so we will be driving a particular focus on road safety before, during and after the event.

“Motorists are urged to drive to the conditions and allow extra travel time as there will be heavy traffic and delays on major and local roads headed into Newcastle, particularly as crowds arrive on Friday and Saturday, and leave on Sunday and Monday,” Assistant Commissioner Mitchell said.

Centre for Road Safety Executive Director, Bernard Carlon, said speeding, drink and drug driving, and fatigue remain the biggest killers on our roads.

“We want everyone to travel safely this weekend, so if you are driving, don’t speed and take a break if you’re feeling tired, and NEVER drive if you’re affected by alcohol or drugs,” Mr Carlon said.

Keolis Downer Hunter General Manager, Mark Dunlop, said there are more ways to travel to and from the event precinct this year, with the light rail network officially in use.

“This will be the first year we have light rail services bringing people into the CBD. Additional services will be running to Queens Wharf, alongside extra bus and ferry services.

“We ask event goers to be alert of their surroundings and be aware of trams when arriving and leaving the event,” Mr Dunlop said.

For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit: www.livetraffic.com

Further information about the event, including venue maps, transport and parking availability, can be found at: www.supercars.com/newcastle/

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