Rugby World Cup transport – statement from the Chair of the Enterprise and Business Committee
The National Assembly's Enterprise and Business Committee held a meeting on Thursday 5 November 2015 concerning problems with transport arrangements in Cardiff during the Rugby World Cup.
The Committee heard from, among others, Arriva Trains Wales, Great Western Railway, Network Rail, City of Cardiff Council and the organisors of the Rugby World Cup.
The Chair of the Committee, William Graham AM, issued the following statement after the meeting:
"The committee heard a great deal of evidence today from rail and bus operators, South Wales Police, Cardiff Council and the Rugby World Cup organisors to hear what led to transport problems during the first three games of the Rugby World Cup, and how they were overcome for the final five games held in Cardiff.
"It is clear to us that the root problem here is the aging infrastructure at Cardiff Central station. There is a need for substantial investment in the station to create a station fit for the 21st century, and the expectations of today's passengers.
"There is also a positive story to tell. The final five games at the stadium showed that it is possible to deliver an experience which allows fans to leave in high numbers without waiting for longer than the game itself. The bar has now been raised for future events, and we would urge all involved to continue to work together to maintain that standard.
"All the evidence suggests that expectations are rising both for fans and organisers, and to remain one of the world's leading venues for major events, Cardiff needs to raise its aspirations and continue to improve its transport planning and delivery.
"Cardiff will welcome football's Champions League Final in 2017 – the most watched annual sporting event in the world with an estimated global TV audience of 180 million in over 200 countries. It is vital that the lessons of the Rugby World Cup are learned and put in place for that event."
The committee will now produce a short report setting out key recommendations for all involved in major event planning.
Image: Jeremy Segrott (Flickr) under Creative Commons