Llanwern rail line designed to stop traffic chaos at concerts in Cardiff cancelled

The last time Cardiff played host to Ed Sheeran, concert-goers were stuck in car parks for hours and there were tailbacks on the M4. Credit: PA Images

A rail line that was meant to stop traffic chaos at major events in Cardiff has been cancelled.

The Llanwern Major Event Stabling Line was aimed at improving journey times in and out of Cardiff for concerts and sports events.

£10.54m has been spent on the project since 2018

The last time Cardiff played host to Ed Sheeran, concert-goers were stuck in car parks for hours and there were tailbacks on the M4.

When international superstar Beyonce performed in the Welsh capital last May, no trains were running on several routes due to engineering works on rail lines.

The move has been criticised by Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS, who said “to essentially write off £10 million in addition to the South Wales metro bill coming in overbudget at £1billion, is completely irresponsible.

"It makes no sense to throw good money after bad by bailing out TfW with a blank cheque for £125 million.

“Public transport in Wales is a mess and it particularly struggles during big events such as concerts and match days.

"I worry the shambolic trains here will be an embarrassment for Wales on the world stage when we host the Euros in 2028.”

Fans queuing up to watch Ed Sheeran in May last year.

The Welsh Government first asked Transport for Wales to develop the Llanwern project in 2017.

Just last month plans for five new train stations in South East Wales, including in Llanwern, were announced.

Transport for Wales say that in discussions with the Welsh Government, it was decided that the project no longer represented value for money due to rising costs.

These fans set off in a mini van from Merthyr to see Beyonce last year, instead of taking public transport.

TFW said that during the development of the project, it became clear that ''the costs associated with the project would be significantly more than initial estimates''.

“Therefore, the decision to stop some parts of the project was taken to avoid incurring further cost.''

"Whilst the cost incurred won’t result in the delivery of the scheme as envisaged from a major event perspective, there will be other benefits which have been transferred as part of the wider work which was developed.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said following a review of the business case post-covid they decided the project would not provide value for money.

They added, “TfW is introducing brand-new trains to their fleet to help improve resilience and meet increased demand across the network on major event days.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know.