Manchester

Manchester United in Old Trafford traffic ban

Old Trafford stadium
Image caption The Old Trafford museum attracts 300,000 visitors per year

Motorists have been banned from driving past Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium.

A Manchester United spokesman said cars passing along Sir Matt Busby Way posed a danger to visitors gathering in front of the stadium.

However, the union representing taxi drivers said the closure would cause major traffic problems.

There was traffic chaos on Monday morning with hundreds of vehicles finding their way blocked by bollards.

The road connects Chester Road with Trafford Park Road and is a popular route in and out of the industrial zone.

Trafford Council agreed to the closure to "create a safer, more attractive environment" for the stadium's visitors.

'Added pollution'

But objections have been been made by the GMB union.

John Connaught, who represents Trafford's hackney carriage drivers, said he accepted a pedestrianised area would be safer for fans.

But he is concerned "it will affect trade" and that it would add to congestion on the nearby A56 Chester Road.

"On average, 50,000 people a day work in Trafford Park," he said.

"If you want to get through, you've got to do a U-turn and add to the traffic, pollution and congestion and time by having to go around White City roundabout."

Manchester United wants to create a public space in front of the stadium while still allowing access to its two car parks on match days.

Club spokesman Phil Townsend said access for nearby residents would be unaffected and the route remains open to pedestrians and cyclists.

But he added: "Having traffic speeding by the front of the ground is dangerous, especially when many people's attention is on their surroundings and not perhaps on paying attention to road safety."

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