Peterborough planning rail seating for next season

Peterborough United has become the latest English football club to unveil plans to fit rail seating at its home stadium.

The Championship club will look to install the seats in the London Road Terrace stand at Weston Homes Stadium.

Subject to approval from the Sports Ground Safety Authority (SGSA) and a Safety Advisory Group (SAG), the seating will be in place for the first match of the 2022-23 season.

Peterborough is unable to retain the terrace area in its current form while it remains a Championship club. The club has therefore moved to make the changes to the stand ahead of next season.

Rail seating has also been incorporated into the design for Peterborough’s new stadium, the planning documents for which were submitted in August.

Peterborough will hold a number of mini open days at the Weston Homes Stadium in July once the rail seating has been fitted to allow fans to choose their spot for next season. Fans that have bought their season tickets by this time will be able to choose their preferred spot based on when they bought their season ticket.

Peterborough chief executive David Paton said: “We have been in discussions with a company who specialise in rail seating and are really pleased that we are now at a point whereby we can confirm that this will be in place for the new season subject to approval from SGSA and SAG. We are in constant dialogue with them and are looking forward to completion of the project.

“Safe standing is something that the football club have been involved with right from the start, visiting stadiums overseas to see how it is implemented and working with supporter groups. I know, from first-hand conversations, that it will be welcomed by our supporters, and it is an important development for the club’s short-term future.”

Last week, Queens Park Rangers detailed plans to install rail seating at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium next season.

The rail seating will be fitted in the Loftus Road Lower Stand after more than 74% of fans surveyed confirmed this would be their preferred location for its roll-out.

Five clubs – Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Cardiff City – introduced licensed safe-standing areas at their stadiums on January 1. The roll-out of rail seating marks the first time that standing has been allowed in the top two tiers of English football in nearly 30 years.

In a statement released in November, the SGSA said the roll-out will build on the success of the Government’s all-seater policy, which was brought in following the Lord Taylor report into the Hillsborough disaster, which led to the deaths of 97 Liverpool fans.

Fans have campaigned for safe standing to be reintroduced for a number of years, with independent research having been carried out to explore the possibility. The research has identified any potential safety risks related to persistent standing, as well as the positive impact engineering solutions, such as seats incorporating barriers or independent barriers, can have.

Research is being carried out at the five clubs’ grounds this season to assess the potential wider roll-out of safe standing from the start of the 2022-23 season.

Image: David Hallam-Jones/CC BY-SA 2.0/Edited for size