In a move that will help cricket fans trying to get to and from the England v Sri Lanka npower Test match that is taking place at The Rose Bowl from 16 – 20 June 2011, 700 additional on-site car parking spaces and a number of extra bus journeys connecting the ground with Southampton Central Station, have been secured.
The car parking spaces, which will be free of charge and located on the golf course, will be accessible via the main Marshall Drive entrance and, alongside the Park and Ride Shuttle Bus services laid on by the club, will give visitors more travel options for this historic occasion.
In addition, First Hampshire and Dorset, the region’s largest bus operator, will be running a number of extra journeys on its 8A route for two hours prior to the start of play each day. These buses, which will operate every 15-20 minutes between Southampton Central Station and The Rose Bowl (Marshall Drive entrance), are being put on by First in addition to what is normally scheduled to operate in the area. Their existence means that cricket fans will have plenty of opportunities to reach the ground by public transport.
Furthermore, the link with Southampton Central Station means those arriving in the region by train will be able to access the ground easily too, without the need to take taxis to and from the venue. Buses to and from the Rose Bowl back to Southampton Central Station will run for two hours prior to each match, and will be waiting afterwards, dropping people off and picking them up at Marshall Drive entrance to the ground.
Talking about the additional bus journeys, Marc Reddy, Commercial and Business Growth Director for First in the South West and Wales, says: "Travelling by bus is the stress free alternative to driving yourself; you can relax and enjoy the journey, letting the bus driver take the strain. A day’s unlimited bus travel in Southampton costs just £4 for adults, with child and family tickets also available. People arriving in the region by train will also be able to add bus travel to their rail ticket by asking for a ‘Plus Bus’ extension at the point of purchase. This will reduce the cost of their bus travel while also allowing them to enjoy unlimited bus travel in Southampton, getting to and from the ground for just £2.30.
"We hope people will use these buses; if they are successful then this may lead to more duplicate bus journeys running on big match days, thus increasing travel options for cricket fans, as well as having a positive impact on local traffic congestion, and the environment in general.”
Adds The Rose Bowl Managing Director, Glenn Delve: "It is great news for fans of top-level cricket that we have opened up extra facilities as it gives them extra flexibility to choose how they come to and exit from the ground.
"We continue to add further enhancements to our infrastructure to facilitate our ever improving egress times that have been so well received over recent years. The spectator experience here is now second to none in UK cricket."
This was reflected in The Rose Bowl being voted ‘Best International Ground’ in an independent ECB customer survey last season.
Cricket fans who have already bought tickets will be notified by the club and offered the chance to secure one of the extra car parking spaces very shortly.
Tickets are still available for the match, which will create history by being the first ever Test match on the South Coast. Car parking spaces must be booked in advance and will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.