Rugby fans heading to Cardiff for All Blacks clash face travel nightmare
Wales fans heading to Cardiff for the game against the All Blacks have been warned not to travel by train as Network Rail (NR) has released more information about the impact of a fresh wave of strikes.
Up to 35,000 people normally travel into Cardiff by train for international rugby matches, with more than 20,000 getting a return home.
Due to the strike, inbound capacity in the hours leading up to kick-off (15.15) will be heavily reduced – two thirds lower than usual – and there will be no trains scheduled from Cardiff after the match.
Members of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT), Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) and Unite are taking industrial action from Saturday in the long-running dispute over pay, jobs and conditions.
Strikes will be held on Saturday, as well as November 7 and 9, crippling services on those days and causing delays in between the walkouts.
NR urged passengers to only travel if absolutely necessary, warning that on strike days only one in five trains will run, and only between 7.30am and 6.30pm.
Transport for Wales is not directly involved in the industrial action. However, the strike means it is unable to operate services on Network Rail infrastructure.
The majority of rail services across the Wales and Borders network will be suspended on the strike dates.
Rugby fans going to the game are being offered the alternative of return coach travel through Transport for Wales (TfW) or Big Green Coach in partnership with the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU).
TfW will provide services from Abercynon Railway Station car park and Pontypridd Railway Station (front of station) at 11am and 11.30am on Saturday 5 November, with return coaches available at 6pm and 6.30pm after the match.
Coaches will drop off and depart from the Civic Centre (Cardiff King Edward VII Avenue) in Cardiff city centre, a short walk from the Principality Stadium.
Capacity is limited and tickets will be issued on first come, first served basis. Coaches can be booked here…..
WRU has partnered with Big Green Coach to put on special coach services for supporters travelling into Cardiff from further afield.
Return coach travel is available from 15 locations across Wales and major cities in England including Birmingham, Reading and London, direct to Cardiff’s city centre. Return coach seats start from £28, and all coaches are timetabled to arrive in plenty of time before the game and will take fans home again, after full time.
Tickets can be purchased online here…
NR has confirmed that on Saturday a very limited GWR service will run between: London Paddington and Bristol Temple Meads, London Paddington and Cardiff Central, London Paddington and Oxford, Reading and Basingstoke, Oxford and Didcot Parkway, Cardiff Central and Westbury via Bristol Parkway, Bristol Temple Meads and Weston-super-Mare, and Branch lines serving Windsor, Marlow and Henley-on-Thames.
Across NR’s Western route – between Penzance and London Paddington – passengers were warned to expect an extremely limited service with no CrossCountry trains running and no services south west of Weston-super-Mare, including the whole of Devon and Cornwall.
Network Rail’s interim Western route director, David Davidson, said: “I would like to sincerely apologise to passengers for another period of disruption owing to this latest strike action.
“Our message to passengers is clear – please only travel if absolutely necessary. For those passengers who must travel by train during time, please expect severe disruption, plan ahead and check the time of your last train home.
“Please continue to check with your train operator on the services they are running or visit the National Rail Enquiries website for more information.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.
Someone at TfW does not like rugby as it always seems to have problems on match days. Funny that, eh!!
Anyone know how tickets sales are , for the game?
“Transport for Wales is not directly involved in the industrial action. However, the strike means it is unable to operate services on Network Rail infrastructure.”
Crewe gets benefit of HS2 investment, Chester gets teaching facility for TFW drivers (don’t they cover border so not completely unusual?) and Wales gets strikes that not directly involved in.
Fantastic. Now let me read this ‘completely separate’ article about Welsh children in poverty.