UK football fans heading from Manchester to Saturday’s FA Cup final in London are being advised by Highways England to plan their journeys.

Manchester United face Crystal Palace at Wembley Stadium on Saturday (21 May) and, with a 5.30pm kick-off, many fans are expected to make the trip by road rather than rail to accommodate the possibility of extra time and a penalty shoot-out if the game ends in a draw.

Routes between the North West and London, including the M6, M40 and M1, are likely to be particularly busy before and after Saturday’s match.

Highways England’s regional control centres in the North West, the Midlands and Eastern region – which controls the northern section of the M25 – are all on standby to monitor traffic, set electronic signs and dispatch patrols of traffic officers to clear any incidents as quickly as possible to keep football fans and other motorway users on the move.

Drivers are being reminded key road schemes are underway – typically with narrow lanes and 50 mph speed limits – with a number of smart motorway projects across the motorway network.

The regional control centres and Highways England’s National Traffic Operations Centre near Birmingham will be keeping a close eye on the potential for heavy traffic moving up and down the country before and after the game.

Drivers are being advised to:

  • plan and leave plenty of time for journeys
  • check travel conditions before setting out and, where it is safe to do so, during journeys
  • ensure they and their cars are fit for the 400 mile round trip to Wembley – including taking regular breaks and topping up with fuel.