Racegoers urged to plan ahead as large crowds expected at Newcastle 500

Wednesday, 08 March 2023 07:50:27 AM

NSW Police are urging racegoers to plan ahead of time and travel safely on the roads as large crowds are expected for the return of the Thrifty Newcastle 500.

A high-visibility police operation – NEWCASTLE 500 2023 – will be in place from Friday 10 March 2023 to Sunday 12 March 2023, as the Repco Supercars Championship returns to Newcastle for the first time since 2019.

General duties officers from Newcastle City Police District and across Northern Region, assisted by specialist police, will focus on road safety as well as anti-social behaviour and alcohol-related violence.

Northern Region Commander, Assistant Commissioner Peter McKenna APM, said the event has become a highlight for the city, with thousands of spectators expected to visit over the weekend.

“Our number one priority throughout Operation NEWCASTLE 500 2023 is to ensure everyone has the opportunity to safely enjoy their time at the event,” Assistant Commissioner McKenna said.

“Racegoers and local residents are reminded there are several road closures and diversions throughout the Newcastle CBD, and a number of special event clearways and bus zones are in place.

“Motorists are urged to allow extra travel time and expect heavy traffic and delays on local roads, particularly around times when crowds are arriving at or leaving the event.

“A reminder that public transport to the event is included with all Thrifty Newcastle 500 tickets, so make use of the additional bus, ferry, train and light rail services,” he said.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander, Assistant Commissioner Brett McFadden APM, said preventable offences of speeding, drink and drug driving, and distracted driving remain the biggest killers on our roads.

“Police won’t tolerate anyone breaking the law through dangerous driving, this includes speeding, drink and drug driving, or driving while distracted,” Assistant Commissioner McFadden said.

“If you’re drinking ensure you have a ‘Plan B’ to get to and from the event, such as taking the light rail, calling a taxi or arranging a designated driver. There’s no excuse to get behind the wheel while affected by any substance, and our officers will be out in force across the weekend to deal with those who do.”

For all special event traffic information, including road closures, special event clearways and live traffic reports, visit: www.livetraffic.com

Further information about the event, including venue maps, transport, and parking availability, can be found at: www.supercars.com/newcastle/