Train operators are advising fans attending the Wales v New Zealand autumn international rugby match at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff on Saturday 5 November not to travel by train.
A number of unions have announced strike action for Saturday 5, Monday 7 and Wednesday 9 November resulting in almost a full week of rail disruption, and no scheduled trains after the match on Saturday.
On the full strike days (5,7 and 9 November) most trains across the Wales and Border network will be suspended, with severely reduced services running east of Cardiff and to the valley lines, only.
Transport for Wales (TfW) is not involved in either dispute, but its services will be affected as it relies on Network Rail staff to run trains on much of the network.
Up to 35,000 people typically travel into Cardiff by train for international rugby matches, with more than 20,000 getting a return home. Due to the strike action, inbound capacity by rail in the hours leading up to kick-off (time) will be heavily reduced – two thirds lower than usual – and there will be no trains scheduled from Cardiff after the match, with the final service departing from Cardiff Central before 5pm.
With severe restrictions on the train network due to strike action, all those travelling via road are advised to leave plenty of time to travel and use park & ride facilities at CCFC Stadium in Leckwith, or County Hall in Cardiff Bay, as city centre road closures will be in place.
The advice for passengers is to only travel, if necessary, on Monday 7 and Wednesday 9 November, and to check ahead of travelling on 4, 6 and 8 November.
Nick Millington, acting route director at Network Rail Wales & Borders said: “I’d like to apologise to passengers for the continued disruption due to industrial action.
“We never like having to tell people not to travel by rail but ensuring people can safely get home has to be our priority.”
Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Transport for Wales Managing Director, said: “The safety of our passengers is always our primary concern and, due to the severe impact of the industrial action on our ability to run services, we are advising customers not to travel by train on Saturday 5 November and to make alternative travel arrangements.
“We’ll continue to work collaboratively with our partners to ensure we can support the event going ahead as safely as possible.”
GWR Customer Service & Operations Director, Richard Rowland, said: “We’re really sorry to all rugby fans who would normally be travelling with us to and from Cardiff Central.
“Unfortunately, due to the limited operating window caused by this industrial action, we’re unable to provide train services after the match and must therefore tell supporters not to travel to the game by train.”
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