Cardiff traffic 'chaos' as people wait for more than an hour in car parks following Ed Sheeran gig

Several people reported being stuck in car parks for more than an hour as everyone tried to leave the city at the end of Ed Sheeran's performance on Thursday evening. Credit: PA Images

People have described scenes of traffic "chaos" in Cardiff as the city plays host to several Ed Sheeran concerts.

Some gig-goers even took to social media vowing never to return to the capital after waiting hours to get out of car parks on Thursday night.

The chart-topping star is performing at the Principality Stadium across three nights - the first installment of which was on Thursday 26 May.

It means city centre roads and some car parks have been closed around the time of his performances. They were also long tailbacks on the M4 leading into Cardiff on Friday, which is believed to be partly due to people descending on the city for the concert.

Ed Sheeran is playing at the Principality Stadium from Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 May.

Following the Bad Habits singer's two-hour set on Thursday, people recalled "chaos" in city centre car parks as everyone tried to leave after 10:30pm when the concert ended.

One person wrote on Twitter at 12:29am: "Will definitely will not be returning to Cardiff after being sat in the car park for over an hour and counting".

Another tweeted at 12:53am: "My partner has just phoned me, she's been sat in her car trapped in St David's Car Park since's absolute chaos!!"

They later said in another tweet at 1:24am: "My misses has only now just got out of there... two-and-a-half hours later...".

Another driver told WalesOnline at 12:20am, there was "total gridlock, queues on all levels" in the St David's car park and said people were becoming "very irate".

They claimed: "After buying a ticket you only have 15 mins to get out of the barrier. So, consequently, people are getting to the barrier and not being able to get out. So everyone has to phone through to customer services."

Others reported similar situations at different car parks in the city. One concert-goer, who wanted to remain anonymous, said her night had been "ruined" after she was stuck in the NCP car park on Dumfries Place for one-and-a-half hours with small children.

"No staff updating us, totally stuck," she claimed.

"Only moved when one man ripped the barriers off."

A spokesperson for NCP said: "Unfortunately the traffic on the road was so busy that our customers were having to queue to gain access onto the roads.

"Customers were all leaving at the same time and it meant they were queuing to gain access to roads which were blocked with traffic.

"We did have staff on all sites to assist as best as we could, and we are sorry for the delays experienced but we cannot control the traffic on the roads surrounding our car parks."

The last time Ed Sheeran performed in Cardiff was in 2018. Credit: PA Images

One commuter, who did not attend the concert, described being trapped in the post-concert car park carnage.

Scott McGlynn, who lives in Cardiff, had gone to London via train for work on Thursday.

He had been forced to park in St David's car park, after discovering that he could not park at Cardiff Central station, which he was told would be closed all day for the nights Ed Sheeran was in town.He said: "I was unaware [of the car park closure]. I was up for work in London on Wednesday too, and that morning they said it was closed.

"They said I couldn't park there till later in the week. The person I spoke to said he was having to issue refunds to people who had prepaid for the car park online because they had just closed it.

"I don't know if they were preparing for the concert. But on Thursday I knew not to park there," he said.

He said he was advised to park in the St David's car park instead. Predicting that the city centre would be busy when he returned from London, he decided to get his train back home an hour later on Thursday, arriving at midnight. But despite returning so late, he said the roads were "manic".

"It was crazy. It was so backlogged - taxis, people everywhere, queues everywhere - it was mad," he said.

"I wish I got the later train now that arrived at 1am, because I didn't get home until 1.30am."

After reaching the car park, it was an hour until he finally left it.

He said: "No-one was letting me out. Some people were cutting through spaces, they were pushing in from all different angles. It was crazy.

"I heard someone say, 'It's crazy up there' when I was going to my car."He continued: "I've been before to a concert in the stadium, so I know how hectic it can be, but I don't know why but this was another level. I don't know what's gone on there," adding that he thinks the fact commuters using the train station were forced to use other car parks may have contributed to this.

"After a long day, you don't really have to want to deal with that," he said, emphasising that he will be "avoiding town" for the next few days.

There are also several other performances taking place in Cardiff across the weekend, which may contribute to traffic problems.

Band My Chemical Romance were also playing a gig in Cardiff on Friday 28 May. Credit: PA Images

A spokesperson for St David's said: "A number of different events took place in the city last night, so it was a busy night at the centre and the roads were more congested than usual.

"We had extra staff on hand to help manage the queues and those staff will also be in place over the next couple of days. We’ll continue to let our guests know when there might be possible delays due to events in the city via our social media channels and would like to thank them in advance for their patience."

They added that the barriers were an important "safety mechanism" to control the flow of traffic out of the car park, and that they are continuing to liaise with the council and the city traffic control, who manage traffic flow outside the car park, to improve things for guests on busy nights.Transport for Wales, which manages Cardiff Central Station car park, has been approached for comment.