Warnings of potential transport disruption with two major gigs taking place in Cardiff at the weekend
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Cardiff Council has confirmed a full a full city centre road closure will be put in place next Saturday and Sunday in response to concerns over potential disruption ahead of two major gigs at the weekend.
Last month saw high levels of congestion and disruption to transport in and around Cardiff when Ed Sheeran came to play at the Principality Stadium.
Trains and roads were affected during the final weekend of May with long tailbacks on the M4 and large queues gathering outside Cardiff Central train station.
With Stereophonics and Sir Tom Jones set to play at the Principality Stadium on Friday, June 17, and Saturday, June 18, concern has surfaced once again over the potential for disruption in the capital city.
Health and Safety grounds
Cardiff Council said that in order to facilitate these events a full city centre road closure will be in place “on health and safety grounds to ensure people can safely enter and leave the stadium after the concerts”.
The city centre road closure on June 17 will take place from 2.30pm to 12.30am and on June 18 it will take place from 12pm to 12.30am.
A Cardiff Council spokesman said: “Those attending these concerts are strongly advised to travel into the city early, leave large bags at home, and pay attention to the prohibited items listed at principalitystadium.wales before they travel into the city.”
The event will be managed through a cross-agency control room from the stadium, where South Wales Police is the lead organisation.
When asked what they will be doing to minimise the levels of disruption that was seen in Cardiff when Ed Sheeran played at the Principality, South Wales Police referred us back to Cardiff Council’s travel advice and information on road closures.
A South Wales Police spokesman said: “As always we will be supporting transport providers in helping to get everyone away from safely from the city centre and advise people to plan their journey in advance.”
Access to Scott Road and Park Street will be managed to ensure vehicles do not park in the road closure area from 7am on the event days.
In addition to this access to part of the Civic Centre will be controlled throughout the day with access allowed only for event parking, limited commuter parking, loading, and access to private car parks.
Roads affected include King Edward VII Avenue, Museum Avenue, City Hall Road, College Road, and Gorsedd Gardens Road.
Penarth Road (back of Cardiff Central station) from the junction of St Mary Street through to the entrance off Penarth Road will close between 9pm and midnight to help Transport for Wales (TfW) with the queuing fans.
You can find the full information on road closures in the city centre and travel advice from Cardiff Council on their website.
The Welsh Government was also contacted for a comment on how they aim to minimise disruption on the main roads into Cardiff ahead of the gigs this Friday and Saturday.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “We plan and work with partners and stakeholders to minimise travel disruption on the trunk road network.
“As with all large events we would advise people to plan ahead before starting to travel and to allow plenty of time for their journey.”
Transport for Wales
TfW said that services in South Wales are expected to be “very busy” throughout both days of the concerts.
A TfW spokesman said: “All available carriages are in service but we continue to face some capacity constraints as a result of the damage some of our carriages suffered in the recent incident at Craven Arms – the impact of this serious criminal act will continue to be felt for some time. We’ll provide additional bus services to supplement the trains where possible.
“It is vital customers check before they travel and allow plenty of time to get into Cardiff.
“After the concert has finished we advise people to make their way straight to Cardiff Central station for their return journey. We also strongly encourage those travelling shorter distances to walk, cycle, or use local bus services.
“Our teams are working hard to keep the network moving and look after all our customers during this busy time.
“We’d like to thank our customers for their patience and cooperation while we do our very best to get everyone to their chosen destination safely so that they can enjoy the music of our legendary Welsh performers.”
The Principality Stadium was also contacted for a comment on what measures it will be putting in place to make sure that the upcoming events at the venue run as smoothly as possible.
In relation to which direction ticket-holders are most likely to be travelling from for the events on Friday and Saturday a spokesperson for the Principality Stadium confirmed that “ticketing data is analysed by the ticket agent(s) and shared amongst all key stakeholders, so collectively we understand where fans are travelling to and from, along with key hot spots”.
They added that “given the incredible Welsh line up this is largely a domestic audience”.
In an interview at the beginning of this month, the leader of Cardiff Council Huw Thomas said that the scenes, like the build-up of traffic, when Ed Sheeran came to perform in Cardiff was a concern to him.
However he added that half term traffic contributed to the levels of disruption that weekend and that it emphasised a need for “investment into transport on a regional basis” because the issues were “not localised just to Cardiff”.
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