Celtic and U2 create 10-mile tailbacks as 126,000 fans descend on Glasgow

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By Emily Pykett, Scotsman.com

TEN-MILE tailbacks choked Glasgow last night as more than 126,000 music and sports fans headed to the city for a U2 concert, as well as the Uefa Champions League qualifier game.

Some 60,000 were said to have descended on Celtic Park as the play-off against Arsenal kicked off at 7:45 pm, while the doors at Hampden - less than four miles away - opened at 5pm to allow in an estimated crowd of 66,000 to see U2 play the only Scottish date on their 360° world tour.

Matters were made worse as motorists were forced to observe a 40mph limit for a five-mile section on the A80 near Cumbernauld, in addition to a number of roadworks ongoing in and around Glasgow city centre.

Motorists sent warnings to each other via the social networking site Twitter.

At 6pm, Cox_in_a_Box wrote: "Just driven past about ten miles of traffic at standstill heading to Glasgow ... football + U2 > chaos!" while alfredobalero wrote: "Glasgow traffic 2nite is prob the worst in the world, u2 concert and champions league game on."

Meanwhile, bigplateofchips said: "Champions League game + U2 stadium gig in same night > GLASGOW TRAFFIC MELTDOWN."

Extra police were on duty in the city and were also patrolling the road network last night to minimise disruption and congestion.

Strathclyde Police had previously issued advice to drivers to access Parkhead via the M8 at junction 13 and the M74 motorway at Fullerton Roundabout.

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police told The Scotsman that the force's priority was to make sure that everyone got to and from he concert and the football match safely, on time and without incident.

She said: "Traffic was very heavy because of the two major events in the same end of town.

"We had been urging people to start their journeys early and use the shuttle buses that have been provided rather than take the cars to the venues."

Free shuttle buses were laid on from Buchanan bus station to Queens Drive at Hampden and there were also extra carriages on train services from Glasgow Central to Mount Florida and from Glasgow Queen Street to Bellgrove.

Arsenal supporters' buses were directed from the M74 to the "away" car park to the south of the stadium on Millerfield Road.

A spokeswoman for the information company Trafficmaster said the junction where the M80 met the A80 - the main route giving access to Hampden and Parkhead - had been heavily congested since 3pm yesterday.

She also reported heavier than usual congestion at junctions 12 and 13 on the M8.

She said a reverse of that congestion was expected later in the evening.

© 2009 Johnston Press Digital Publishing

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This page contains a single entry by Rita published on August 19, 2009 8:41 PM.

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