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UK stadium shows face travel disruption

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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UK schoolboy convicted over plans to attack Bieber show

A Welsh teenager has been convicted of planning to drive a car into a crowd of people in Cardiff in an Islamic State (Isis)-inspired terrorist attack.

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), one of the 17-year-old’s targets was the Justin Bieber concert at the Principality Stadium (74,500-cap.) on 30 June. On the morning of the show – which was also targeted by a machete-wielding anti-Muslim extremist who reportedly threatened to “chop [up] all Muslims” – police raided the schoolboy’s house and discovered a large knife, a hammer and a ‘martyrdom’ letter pledging his allegiance to Isis as a “soldier of the Islamic State”.

The teenager had also downloaded two editions of an Isis propaganda magazine advising on how to commit a vehicle-based attack, while his internet history included searches for ‘Isis beheading video’, ‘Isis terrorist attacks’, ‘Police car UK armed response’, ‘how to create a terror attack’, ‘driving a lorry into a crowd of people’ and ‘what does getting shot feel like’. His Instagram password was ‘Truck Attack’.

Other potential targets included Cardiff Castle, the New Theatre, the Capitol shopping centre, the Central Library, the CPS says.

“This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible”

At his trial at Birmingham crown court, the 17-year-old – who is a white Briton – accepted he had written the letter and placed the knife and hammer in his rucksack but denied intending to harm anyone.

“This teenager’s behaviour over many months leaves no doubt that he intended to kill and maim as many people as possible in an attack reminiscent of the incident on Westminster bridge,” says Sue Hemming, head of the CPS’s special crime and counter-terrorism division. “He was also posting extremist content online that could have encouraged others to commit terrorist acts and downloading instructions on how to carry out ‘lone wolf’ attacks.

“The CPS presented overwhelming evidence that he was prepared to die for Daesh [Isis]’s extremist worldview and he will now rightly face the prospect of a substantial prison sentence.”

The teenager will be sentenced at a later date.

 


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