Newcastle Supercars shuttle buses stop at Honeysuckle

MOVING DAYS: Hunter Development Corporation chief executive Michael Cassel talks to the media at Wickham interchange on Thursday.
MOVING DAYS: Hunter Development Corporation chief executive Michael Cassel talks to the media at Wickham interchange on Thursday.

Supercars shuttle buses from Hunter Stadium and the Wickham interchange will terminate at Honeysuckle, 1.2km from the circuit.

Transport for NSW on Thursday released a plan for 300 more bus services and 90 extra train journeys to cater for crowds at the Supercars weekend, from November 24 to 26.

Supercars, Hunter Development Corporation and private transport operator Keolis Downer representatives confirmed Hunter Stadium and Stockton would host large park-and-ride centres.

Supercars estimates that 150,000 people will attend the Newcastle 500, about 30,000 on Friday and 60,000 on Saturday and Sunday. Tickets to the race include free public transport. 

A map of the planned bus routes shows travellers from the stadium and the interchange will get dropped at Newcastle Maritime Museum and either walk to the track or catch another shuttle bus from Hunter Street, near Civic. Some regular bus services will terminate before Civic while others will continue to Bolton Street.

The Civic shuttle will run “frequently”, according to the map, which is on the Newcastle Transport website.  

The last shuttle will run at 11pm, giving racegoers two hours to walk back to the maritime museum after Delta Goodrem’s Friday concert and one hour after Cold Chisel finish on Saturday.

Two ferries, with a combined capacity of 1200 an hour, will run until 1am on Saturday and Sunday from the CBD to a 2500-space car park at Stockton. 

Both concerts are expected to attract tens of thousands of people, but Supercars event manager Kurt Sakzewski told a media conference at the Wickham interchange he was confident transport services would cope. 

“We won’t deny they’ll have delays,” he said.

“You’ve got places where lots of people are coming into. But we’ve got a good plan there, the police are working with us and we’ll make sure those people get out in a timely manner.”

HDC chief Michael Cassel said a police and transport command centre would operate throughout the event.

“With any large event like the one we’re holding here over three days, of course there’s going to be a few little delays and a few little wrinkles to iron out,” he said.

“But we’ve got a great team in place working night and day to make sure it’s as good as it can be. But, again, it is the first year.”

Trains would run until the “wee small hours” and racegoers could park and ride at railway stations.

“You need to consider planning your trip. The trains will keep running. It’s not a long walk from the east end up to here,” Mr Cassel said. 

Race and transport organisers are urging racegoers not to drive into the city centre.

Keolis Downer Hunter chief executive Campbell Mason said the network would “run smoothly” and had enough drivers to cope.

Neither Mr Mason nor Mr Cassel could provide an estimate on how many people would use the park-and-ride service at the stadium.

“We don’t have a figure on it, but we know we have the resources if it’s more than expected,” Mr Mason said.