Loftus Road ... Not The Most Atmospheric Of Grounds ... But ...
28 April 2010 10:33
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. It will be BOUNCING when the Toon Army take over Shepherds Bush. LOFTUS ROAD What Is It Like For Visiting Supporters? Away fans are situated in the upper tier of the School End, where around 1,200 fans can be accommodated. If demand requires it then the lower tier can also be allocated, increasing the number of places available to about 2,500. If the away club only takes the upper tier allocation, then the lower tier is allocated to home supporters. Alan Griffiths a visiting Barnsley fan informs me; 'the entrance for away fans to the School End upper tier is now longer in South Africa Road, but on the opposite side of the ground in Ellerslie Road (turnstile block 2).' I must say that on my three visits, I have found the stadium lacking a little in atmosphere. Also the leg room between rows of seats was a little tight. There is normally quite a large police and steward presence, and you should expect to be searched before you enter the away end. However on the plus side I have never experienced any problems there, as it is generally relaxed and friendly. Dan Markham a QPR fan disagrees with me; 'It is virtually impossible to have such a small compact enclosed stadium, and not have a tremendous atmosphere. You are close to the pitch, close to the visiting fans and most importantly close to the action'. Another plus point was that the food that was served within the ground was quite good and the service prompt. Please note that smoking is not allowed in the seated areas of the ground. Richard Wilson, a visiting Birmingham City supporter adds; 'A word of advice for away fans. They are often very slow at the turnstiles at Loftus Road. I would seriously suggest arriving half an hour before kick off, or risk missing the start of the game'. Where To Eat & Drink? Dave Hancy informs me; 'The Springbok pub near to the ground, which has been used by away fans for many years now, is now under new management and has been converted into a Home Fans only pub. On matchdays they have bouncers on the door checking matchday tickets'.Around Shepherds Bush Green is O'Neills and Walkabout which are both okay for away fans. To find Shepherds Bush Green; exit Shepherds Bush Market Underground Station (the Hammersmith & City line station), turn left out of the station and the green is a short way down the road on the right. Diagonally across Shepherds Bush Green opposite the Central line entrance to Shepherds Bush Underground Station, is a retail complex called Vue, which upstairs includes a Wetherspoons outlet. Please note that alcohol is not available in the away end. On the eating front David Frodsham adds; 'On my travels to many football grounds, I have yet to find a wider selection of food available than on the Uxbridge Road. The cosmopolitan inner city nature means that you can almost eat your way around the world. From the normal range of cafes, burger bars, fried chicken outlets and chippies, there are Indian, Chinese, Thai & Jamaican outlets. There are Lebanese and Indian kebab shops, the latter selling "doner" kebabs made with Indian spices! How To Get There By Car And Where To Park From The North/West: At the end of the M40, take the A40 towards Central London. At the point where the A40 becomes the A40(M), turn off onto the A40 towards White City/Shepherds Bush and turn right into Wood Lane, turn right into South Africa Road for the ground. Daniel Sleigh a visiting Nottingham Forest fan informs me; 'There is a car park on the Ariel Way industrial estate, opposite the BBC television centre. It is located at the end of Silver Road (near the Royal Mail unit) and costs £6'. It opens three hours before kick off and remains open until midnight. There are 75 spaces available, but they may also attract visitors to the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre, so it is best to get there early. Matt Garside from Southampton adds; 'It's probably cheaper to just park on the road in this area as it costs £5.40 for three hours parking'. However, there are a number of restricted parking zones around the stadium so be careful where you park. Andreas Iona adds; 'South Africa Road running past the stadium, closes to traffic one hour before kick-off on all matchdays. The Police enforce the road closure which remains in place until approximately 15 minutes after kick-off. At the end of the game a similar closure is implemented 15 minutes before the end of the game and lasts for approximately one hour. Supporters are advised to avoid parking in the few pay and display bays available in Dorando Close as they face a long wait to get out at the end of the game due to the above closure'. How To Get There By Train/Tube The nearest tube station is White City on the Central Line, which is about a five minute walk away. Also nearby (a little further along Wood Lane opposite the BBC Television Centre) is the recently opened Wood Lane Station, which is on the Hammersmith & City line. It is around a seven minute walk away from Loftus Road. Otherwise there are two other tube stations close by; Shepherds Bush Market on the Hammersmith & City line and Shepherds Bush on the Central Line. The former is about a ten minute walk away from the ground, whilst the other is about 15 minutes. Personally I tend to use Shepherds Bush Market tube station, simply because there seems to be more pubs around this area, especially around Shepherds Bush Green. Leaving both Shepherds Bush tube stations; turn right and the ground will come into view further down on the right. Please note that Queens Park tube station is nowhere near the ground! The nearest train station is Shepherds Bush, which is adjacent to the tube station. However, it is not directly served by any of the major London mainline stations. However trains from Watford Junction and Clapham Junction both stop there.