DEMAND for coaches for Huddersfield Town’s big day out at Wembley has led to a shortage of buses in Yorkshire next weekend.
And it’s an early victory for Town over the Blades.
Town fans have beaten play-off final rivals Sheffield United to the county’s supply of vehicles, forcing the Blades to commission a train instead.
Town’s official Travel Club have reserved as many as 65 coaches for the all-Yorkshire showdown a week today.
Mr Mark Stott, director of Milnsbridge-based Stotts Coaches started planning his mammoth operation two weeks ago and stole a march on Sheffield United, who may have still had one eye on automatic promotion.
“As a Town fan I didn’t want to tempt fate by planning too early but it had to be done,” said Mr Stott.
“We’ve hired coaches from as far afield as Leeming Bar, Nottingham, Liverpool and Easingwold and there is a shortage now.”
The Blades warned on Wednesday that coaches were in short supply and urged fans to book early.
Yesterday they announced they had commissioned a Football Special train from Sheffield Midland Station with 500 seats available.
A Blades spokesman blamed the all-Yorkshire clash for soaking up demand for coaches and said 10 had been filled on the first day.
Mr Stott told how the coach shortage wasn’t helped by new emissions rules, introduced in January, which effectively banned older vehicles from the capital.
The London Emissions Zone (LEZ) ‘fined’ vehicles without the more efficient Euro 4 specification engines £200 a day.
Stotts have provided coaches to Town since 2003 and took 90 vehicles to Old Trafford last year for the ill-fated play-off final with Peterborough.
They expect about 65 for Wembley.
JAK Travel Ltd in Keighley will supply Huddersfield Town Supporters’ Association with four coaches and director Mr Alan Bonson said: “Demand has been high because of the all-Yorkshire final.
“We’ve had a lot of calls but as soon as we hear the word Wembley we say ‘sorry we can’t help’.
“Next Saturday it’ll be a case of the last person out of Yorkshire switching off the lights.”
Demand for minibuses in Huddersfield has also been high.
Chris Taylor, a director at Arrow Self-Drive in Linthwaite, said: “It’s been mad here. Within an hour of the final whistle on Tuesday our website almost melted but we’re all back up and running now.”
Last word should go to Town fan Mr Stott who thinks the final will be decided by two strikers, Town’s 40-goal hero Jordan Rhodes and United’s jailed Ched Evans. “We have the top goalscorer in the country and they haven’t got theirs. That could be the difference,” he said.
Six Town fans will join Dean Hoyle’s ride to Wembley – and “The Magnificent Seven” will raise funds to take local children to the game. Hoyle’s cycling partners are Mark and Graham Lee, Richard Noon, Luis Alcantarilla, Stephen Beck and Mark Ronan.
The ride will take them via Worksop and Peterborough.
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