Away game travel plan

The club’s Supporters’ Association has launched a new initiative for travel to away matches.

The Association is proposing to run a 51-seater coach at all away games outwith a 10-mile radius of South Shields, starting in October, at a cost of just £2 per week per person.

For the plan to work, 51 people will be needed to answer ‘yes’ to the following three questions:

1. Would you find a fee of £2 per week acceptable if it enabled you to travel to away games at no further expense?

2. Would it be more beneficial to you to have a pre/post-match drink or refreshment in the home team’s clubhouse, with friends, family and players, and not worry about having to drive home afterwards?

3. Would you be prepared to set up a standing order for £2 per week (per person), payable to the bank account of the football club, or Supporters’ Association (whichever is applicable)?

A non-transferable membership would be required to make it work, with £102 per week paid into the bank account per week, between the 51 members.

There would be no concessions, as that would make the scheme unworkable, and the £2 per week, per person, would continue to be paid throughout the year, including the summer months.

The cost of a 51-seater bus, on average, will be about £350 per game, and with the money raised from 51 members paying £2 a week, that would pay for 13 buses during the season, with surplus money available for at least two away cup ties if required.

Buses would not be required for the trips to Birtley, Chester-le-Street, Heaton Stannington, Team Northumbria or Whickham, as they are either served by the Metro or the bus service.

A bus would run to Billingham Synthonia, Billingham Town, Crook Town, Darlington RA, Easington Colliery, Esh Winning, Northallerton Town, Ryhope CW, Ryton and Crawcrook Albion, Stokesley Sports Club, Thornaby and Tow Law Town in what remains of this season.

A supporter paying a total yearly payment of £104, who travelled to all 13 scheduled games as listed, would do so for £8 a match, with two cup ties on top of that.

It would be totally optional whether to travel to games, but those who sign up would be guaranteed a seat on the coach. The only stipulation would be that those who did not wish to travel to a particular game, would notify the travel secretary in advance, to enable the then-available empty seats to be made available to non-members for a flat fare of about £8.

However big or small the number of people planning to travel to a game is, if 51 people sign up to this initiative, all of those who choose to travel will be transported there and back on the coach.

The Supporters’ Association is now welcoming indications of interest for the scheme, in the hope that it can be started in time for next month’s trip to Esh Winning.

All of those interested are asked to contact Supporters’ Association chairman Stephen Ramsey as soon as possible on 07973 262742.