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UK stadium shows face travel disruption

After Tuesday's debacle at Twickenham, Ed Sheeran fans are facing a disrupted rail service for this weekend's record-breaking four-night run at Principality Stadium

By Jon Chapple on 21 Jun 2018

Ed Sheeran, Divide tour

The ÷ (Divide) tour visited South America with Move last summer


image © Diego Vega/Move Concerts

Ed Sheeran fans have been advised to make alternative travel arrangements for the singer’s four-night run in Cardiff, as engineering work means there will be no direct trains to or from London.

The million-selling second UK leg (and the ninth in total) of the ÷ world tour wraps up at Principality Stadium on Sunday, with Sheeran becoming the first artist to play four consecutive shows at the venue. The 60,000 people expected to attend each night are facing significant travel disruption, with the closure of the Severn Tunnel leading to the suspension of the service to London Paddington.

Services from London before the show will additionally not call at Bristol and Cardiff, and trains coming from England’s south coast will terminate at Bristol Parkway, where a rail replacement bus service will take passengers to Newport for onward trains to Cardiff, reports the BBC. Additionally, last trains to Birmingham, Portsmouth and Aberdare will likely leave before the concerts finish at 22.30.

After the gig, trains to Newport and west Wales will run as normal, with replacement buses taking passengers to Bristol.

In a statement provided to IQ, a Network Rail spokesperson says delaying the electrification works in order to keep the tunnel open would have meant a “significant cost” for taxpayers.

“Rebooking the work for another time would mean a significant cost to the taxpayer”

“The Severn Tunnel and Patchway tunnels in Bristol will be closed for three weeks so engineers can deliver essential modernisation and electrification work on the mainline in Bristol and south Wales,” according to the organisation, which operates the rail infrastructure in Great Britain.

“This work requires engineers and specialist equipment and has been planned well in advance, and rebooking the work for another time would mean a significant cost to the taxpayer. Additional capacity is being provided where possible during work, and passengers have been advised to plan their journey in advance. ”

Sheeran’s is the second major UK stadium tour to face travel disruption this week, after thousands of Rolling Stones fans were left stranded at Twickenham Stadium on Tuesday night after a “series of incidents” led to the cancellation of all trains to central London from Twickenham station.

As with the rest of the ÷ UK tour, Cardiff concertgoers with tickets bought from unauthorised resale sites such as Viagogo will be turned away at the door, with fans given the option to buy new tickets at face value and claim back their money via Viagogo or their credit card company.

“Although it’s inconvenient for customers, we are helping them achieve refunds on transactions where they’ve just been ripped off,” said Stuart Galbraith, of tour promoter Kilimanjaro Live, last month.

 


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