An excellent review Whaley, congestion problems appear to have eased quite a bit since the stadium first opened, although I suppose we should bear in mind that that journey was in optimum conditions.
An admirable well thought out suggestion re. trial season tickets as well. I hope Swanny takes note and suggests it to his masters.
However as you do, I still fear significant problems are certain to occur on a dark wet rainy night in November/December with a game (hopefully) attracting 10,000+.
It would also still double my car driving time (rather than triple it), but the thing that really palls, is that i would be obliged to drive..that's what really stinks for me about Barton.
It's no longer a simple train journey away.
I have the same thoughts, coming from Buxton was a simple train journey, driving to Eccles seems a bit more of a pain.
However from the sounds of it not as bad a journey as it can be during the day. As people seem to be saying don't knock it until you have tried it.
As for parking on the local Eccles Rugby League ground you can always park on Eccles RFC ground( the Rugby Union Club )which is adjacent to the Rugby league ground on Gorton Street M30 7LZ
Hi, I've sent my thoughts to Swanny and for what they're worth here ar my experiences of last night- So am positive-ish and will be renewing.
Barton experience 30th March
On Friday 30th March I visited Barton Stadium with my father as we wanted to experience first-hand what Friday night rugby would be like if Sharks move there. There are four of us who are STHs and three travel up from Stafford/Stone. Stories of the nightmare that journey would be were enough to put us off renewing.
What is beyond doubt that the M6 northbound at Friday teatime is truly awful and to be avoided at all costs? We have, for years, took our time going to EP via Leek and Macc. At least scenic and use the journey to have a good old chat.
On Friday traffic wasn’t really heavy – M6 was its normal self but we used a new route avoiding any motorway and actually got to Barton slightly earlier than we would have got to Stockport. Pleasant route and we’d pre-booked car park at the ground.
As we arrived around 6:30 we were directed to the area you can pay on the night(although the website expressly says they must be pre-booked) which put us on nearer the M60 flyover when we were told later by stewards that we could have been southwest of stadium.
The ground, especially the main stand is impressive and we were in the West stand looking out on a try line. The seats are fine, view good and pitch in good condition.( As good as EP) food outlets were disappointing – basically pie and pint/ hot drink.
Stewards all friendly and helpful.
Enjoyed the game with Salford and Wigan. Reminded me why I enjoy League – exciting running and plenty of tries but also why I love Union – far more different aspects/ skills to the game and types/sizes of players .
There were announcements that at the end of the game cars would be held back for ten minutes to allow pedestrians safer exit. Also food and drinks would be available from one area of the ground.
At the end we went to the food area for a cuppa and enjoyed talking to local fans. We went back to our car twenty minutes after final whistle and traffic for our part barely moved for about another twenty minutes until eventually we left.
So in summary for us to travel up from Stafford/Stone and in view of the age of our party (so minimal walk only) we enjoyed the journey via A34/A50/ toll bridge and A57. No real difference.
Massive car park – rough surface/ still building site but like Booth Street. Hardly any signing as yet, misdirected left us in the worst position for exit. Delay in getting off – too long. Certainly believe if able to walk 10-15 minutes there’s a growing number of places (amateur rugby clubs/ airfield etc) who offer a better alternative yet charge £5. Believe with one main traffic light access it will always be a bottleneck but there are ways it might be improved. Better separation/ signing to encourage traffic turning left out of ground onto A57 west would help. So disappointing but not enough to put us off – anticipate can be improved after priority to pedestrians – coaches/ park and ride buses etc.
The stadium and playing surface is impressive even if three sides are minimal at present. Disappointed with food choice – enjoy Printerland food especially homemade pie mash, gravy and peas but then that’s our ritual and after starting early are ready for something more than a hotdog or small pie. Main thing I’d like to see is a Shark Tank/ fans village/ meeting area – the best aspect of union – meeting other fans (esp. opposition). Bring more soul/ atmosphere to the fans.
Salford shop area nice and modern – room for Sharks shop?
What was most interesting last night was chatting to other fans – As above ground can be a bit of an individual’s day out at present but sat by a Wigan fan who was a Sale STH but got fed up with quality of rugby under Kingsley-Jones and hasn’t been back since. Spoke to several Salford fans that play union and love six-nations – definitely interested in all year round rugby and if Sharks came would give it a go.
Bottom line after all the doom and gloom is that we want to watch top quality rugby and were pleasantly surprised about the journey and ground and believe the car park/ food/ fans village can be improved
I think there will be a lot of interest from Salford fans to give Sharks a go and can see why the stadium offers more for the future for the club to grow.
The problem over getting away isn’t enough to deter us and we will be renewing. May consider watching league there during the summer? Wonder if there’ll be STH offers to each other club’s fans ?
The quality of the rugby played will always be the real reason that determines whether it’s worth the effort.
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