Nato Summit Wales set to cause congestion and delays
- 3 September 2014
- From the section South East Wales
People are warned about a rise in disruption on the roads of south Wales as world leaders and delegates gather at the Nato summit in Newport.
Roads between the Celtic Manor Resort and Cardiff are most likely to be hit, but there are no plans to close the M4.
Traffic has already been restricted in Cardiff city centre, where some roads have now been closed due to the summit.
Cardiff Airport said flights would not be affected, but passengers are urged to allow extra time for road journeys.
People have also been asked to use public transport wherever possible.
Ch Supt Alun Thomas from South Wales Police, the Silver Commander responsible for the operational delivery of the Nato summit, said they were looking after an "unprecedented international global event".
He said: "It is fair to say that this is totally unprecedented and something that the UK has never managed before so whilst it's challenging for us locally in Wales, what an opportunity, what a fantastic chance for us to display Wales across the globe and show the rest of our partners and colleagues that we are capable of delivering this on behalf of Wales."
Road closures in Newport have been limited to the area around the Celtic Manor Resort on the outskirts of the city, which is hosting the summit on Thursday and Friday.
- Catsash Road is closed from the junction on Belmont Hill on the B4236, to the junction with Roman Road
- Bulmore Road is closed from the Bell public house in Caerleon to the junction with Abernant Road
- All footpaths that cross the Celtic Manor Resort will be closed, with notices in place at the points of closure
- The closures are due to be lifted at 07:00 BST on Saturday
Official government transport advice for the duration of the summit says there is no intention to close the M4 at any point, and that "significant disruption" should be limited to particular pinch-points when delegations arrive and depart from the Celtic Manor.
Thursday evening and Friday morning rush-hours have been identified as the times most likely to be affected by congestion.
Newport Bus said its services would be running to a Saturday timetable on Thursday and Friday.
Cardiff lane closures
In Cardiff city centre, the installation of security fencing has already resulted in lane closures around Cardiff Castle and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, which are hosting events for delegates during the summit, prompting an outcry from taxi drivers about "absolute chaos".
A key route through the city centre will be closed completely from 20:30 BST on Wednesday in advance of a working dinner for Nato delegates at Cardiff Castle on Thursday evening.
The roads to be closed are:
- North Road (from Column Road junction through to Kingsway)
- Duke Street
- Boulevard de Nantes
- Cowbridge Road East (from Cathedral Road junction across Castle Street Bridge)
- Castle Street
The roads are likely to reopen in the early hours of Friday morning, although the timing is yet to be confirmed.
Ramesh Patel, Cardiff council cabinet member for transport and strategic planning, said: "Residents are advised to consider using public transport, or make use of the park and ride facilities at Leckwith or Pentwyn.
"If you are travelling by car into the city centre, we advise that you allow extra time for your journey and use the diversion route signposted."
Cardiff Airport said it has spent up to a year gearing up for one of the biggest ever events of its kind on UK soil.
An extra 100 staff from a range of agencies are on duty running a temporary terminal built specifically to handle the Nato traffic.
- The western approach to the airport from Llantwit Major will be periodically closed but the eastern approach from Cardiff and Barry will remain open
- A temporary legal order will prohibit waiting on Rhoose Road between the roundabout with Porthkerry Road and the end of the road, which will remain open unless police need to close it
- Waiting will also be prohibited on the unnamed roads that lead from Porthkerry Road to Porthkerry village
- Several footpaths in Penmark will be closed from Wednesday to Friday
Aviation enthusiasts hoping to catch a glimpse of a world leader's plane are being provided with a private parking area at the Porthkerry caravan site.
Arriva Trains Wales is adding extra capacity and services between Cardiff and Newport during the Nato summit, as well as more staff at stations to deal with the 25,000 extra passengers expected.
Customer services director Lynne Milligan said Arriva Trains Wales had been working with Network Rail and British Transport Police to see what could be done on Thursday and Friday.
There will be an extra train an hour running in both directions between Cardiff and Newport to meet the expected extra demand.
"We've put the 25,000 extra people expected into the capacity for those couple of days, and we will have an hourly shuttle in addition to the normal train service between Newport and Cardiff," she said.
"With the government recommending people avoid the roads because of delays - and I think everyone will expect delays - it feels quite a good way to support that by putting these extra hourly trains in each direction."
But First Great Western, which runs the Swansea to London Paddington service, said there were no plan to run extra train or increase capacity.
Patients and visitors to hospital sites in Cardiff are being advised to allow extra time for their journeys during the Nato summit.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board has put plans in place to minimise the impact on local services and aims to maintain as normal a service as possible.
Essential services such as urgent cancers, outpatient diagnostics and elective services will continue as normal at University Hospital of Wales, Cardiff, while the minor injuries unit at Barry Hospital will shut until Monday to help provide emergency medicine staff in the city centre to support police and ambulance staff.
Services at University Hospital Llandough will continue as normal.
Abigail Harris, the health board's director of planning, said: "There has been extensive multi-agency planning to make sure our services are prepared for any increased demand during the week.
"We are planning to provide as normal a service as possible but would advise those coming to our sites, particularly on Thursday or Friday, to allow extra travelling time and check the latest travel news."