Burnley fans and supporters groups have slammed the cost and inconvenience of compulsory travel restrictions placed on them ahead of the derby game with Blackburn Rovers.

Burnley travel to Ewood Park on Sunday, March 17, only their third league visit in the last 30 years.

The police have designated the fixture a ‘bubble’ game, meaning fans are forced to purchase coach travel for £6.50 on top of the £32 cost of a match ticket.

The Clarets have been allocated 4,000 tickets for the game.

As of yesterday, 1,350 tickets had been sold to season-ticket holders and shareholders with any left going on sale to registered fans on Monday, March 4.

There will be two pick-up points for supporters, at Turf Moor and Clayton-le-Moors with coaches leaving at 9.45am ahead of the noon kick-off.

Season ticker-holder, Pauline Stott, 66, of Rosehill, is attending the match but said she disagreed with the forced coach travel.

She said: “I will be going with my daughter, son-in-law and a friend.

“For the four of us that’s £26 for the coach when if we travelled by car it would be a fraction of that.

“You’re herded around and plonked in the stadium hours before kick-off.

“Attending a football game is supposed to be a leisure pasttime but it’s more like a military operation going to Ewood. I’d like to know what Burnley’s board will be doing.

“Will they be in the police escort with the fans at 9.45am?

“This doesn’t happen at the derbies in Manchester and Liverpool so why here?”

Other fans said they had decided not to attend because of the restrictions.

Andrew Whitham, 34, said: “To me the cost has put me off along with all faffing about involve in getting to the game.

“There are obviously security issues but the cost and travel has put me off.”

Blackburn Rovers fans also face the same restriction for the reverse fixture.

Fans’ forum secretary John Wareing said he hoped concessions would be made in the future.

He said: “I have not been to the last two games at Turf Moor because of the hassle.

“From what I’ve been told though the arrangement this season were a little slicker.

“Let’s hope more concessions can be made and there’s a time when both sets of fans can travel to and from the game freely without incident.”

Other ‘bubble’ matches have also led to concern with a legal challenge threatened by a Manchester-based Hull City fan who will be forced to travel by club transport to their Easter Saturday game at Huddersfield 70 miles away.

The Football Supporters’ Federation has backed East Lancashire fans’ views.

Amanda Jacks from the FSF said: “These arrangements restrict the movement of the vast majority of law-abiding fans.

“They also do nothing to prevent troublemakers travelling independently.

“Treating fans in this shoddy way, far from diluting the intense rivalry, can sometimes enhance it."