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Cardiff station struggles to cope with record passenger numbers

Extra seats and better information has been promised for passengers attending the next Team GB football match, following massive disruption on Wednesday night at Cardiff station. 

A record number of passengers used the station after the match – a total of 19,500. This is more than double the normal figure after an event at the Millennium Stadium, First Great Western (FGW) said.

Of those passengers, 9,000 used FGW services. The situation was described as “chaos” by passengers, with the average time spent queuing outside 35 minutes. 27 buses were laid on for passengers from Cardiff to Bristol.

Operators Arriva Trains Wales (ATW) and FGW are working to avoid a similar situation this Saturday as the men’s football team takes on South Korea. About 70,000 people will fill the Millennium Stadium for the game.

A spokesperson for FGW said it had struggled “with twice as many customers travelling by public transport than for any other event held at the Millennium Stadium”. 

“Many of those travelling to the match had not purchased tickets in advance, so the true number of passengers travelling could only be ascertained on the day of travel.”

An ATW spokesperson added: “We recognise that fans will have had to wait outside the station before boarding their services home, however, this was done to ensure the safe and controlled movement of large volumes of people onto trains. 

“We are currently working with First Great Western to ensure that extra capacity to Bristol and London is in place ahead of Saturday’s Team GB fixture in Cardiff.” 

ATW apologised for any communications issues in the long queues and added: “We are redesigning our queuing system to ensure that there is additional space for First Great Western passengers on Cardiff Central forecourt.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]

Image c. Phillip Halling under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic licence.


Rob   03/08/2012 at 15:46

I am not sure how accurate this report is, I was there and it was indeed chaos. We (and thousands of others) were queueing for over 2 hours, not the '35 minutes' stated. I asked and most of the people aorund us had purchased tickets in advance. Surely Arriva and FGW could easily find out from LOCOG how many arena tickets had been sold? Nearly 70,000 were there on Wednesday, which is a lot, but this is the Millenium Stadium and 'Olympics 2012', surely they were expecting us! We were left in the chaos for 2 hours, with no info, no facilities and very few staff visible. The staff we did manage to grab did not have a clue how we were going to get home 'bus or train maybe'. The size of the queue meant we missed two trains and then did not get back to my originating station. I had to get a taxi to my originating station from Swindon at 2am! Lets hope they sort it out for Saturday.

Total Chaos   03/08/2012 at 17:58

I left early on Wednesday night & missed the last 1/2 hour to catch the 21.12 to Newport. No queues at that time but was directed onto the wrong train & missed it. I asked a few Aviva people & they didn't seem to know which train was going where. I stayed on the train for 25 mins until it finally left(presumably it was the 21.25) at 21.35 I had to get to my car before the carpark at Newport closed at 22.00. I got to my car which was across the road from Newport station at exactly 22.00 as they were closing the gates. If I had been late I would have had to stay in a hotel with my daughter which would have been very expensive and this made me extremely cross. I left the match early to avoid these problems but FGW & Aviva were overwhelmed, surely they should be used to matches at the Millennium Stadium with cup finals & internationals etc.

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