Pupils in Cardiff and Newport get day off for Ryder Cup

image captionThe Ryder Cup is being held in Wales for the first time

Thousands of children have been given a day off school for the start of the Ryder Cup golf tournament, partly to ease traffic congestion.

All schools in Cardiff and most in Newport will have an inset day on Friday, 1 October.

Schools have been told it will mean a "considerable reduction" in the amount of traffic at peak times while giving pupils the chance to watch the event.

The Ryder Cup takes place at the Celtic Manor Resort, Newport from 1-3 October.

Some parents in Cardiff expressed surprise that pupils were being given the day off for an event in Newport.

The best golfers from the USA and Europe will contest one of golf's most prestigious prizes in Wales for the first time.

Authorities started drawing up traffic plans several years ago to deal with tens of thousands of golf fans expected.

It is hoped the inset day, which would have been taken by schools at some point in the school year anyway, will help prevent traffic problems while allowing children to enjoy the event.

Plans for an M4 relief road were scrapped last year.

A Newport council spokesperson said: "Every year all schools have inset or training days. In Newport most schools have agreed an inset day on Friday, 1 October - the opening day of the tournament.

"As well as allowing people the chance to watch the tournament or be involved in some of the exciting events that are planned for the week of the Ryder Cup, there will also be a considerable reduction in the amount of traffic generated at peak times."

Cardiff council has confirmed all its schools will take an inset day, giving around 50,000 pupils a day off.

Huw Williams, whose children attend Ysgol Pencae in Cardiff, said: "I'm surprised they're giving an inset day at that time of year.

"I think it's a bit premature. I hadn't heard of a huge number of people coming to Cardiff but maybe that will materialise."

Other local authorities including Rhondda Cynon Taf and Torfaen have confirmed their schools will remain open.

The Welsh Assembly Government said improvements had been made to the transport infrastructure.

An assembly government spokesperson said: "The Ryder Cup 2010 is not a one-off event but will leave a lasting mark on Wales for years to come.

"We have therefore implemented a series of measures to increase the capacity and improve the safety of the transport infrastructure in and around Newport (in the form of transport grants to the local authority) that have been designed to inspire a sporting and economic legacy for the whole of Wales.

"These measures include maintenance work to local roads and motorways, new park and ride facilities in the vicinity of Celtic Manor, and major improvements to Newport train station, as well as bringing in the variable speed limit system along the M4 which will improve journey times and safety."

Here are a selection of your comments:

I travel to work in Cardiff on the M4 every day and the road is not coping with normal traffic let alone the expected Ryder Cup traffic. I have taken the week off when the Ryder Cup is on to avoid adding extra hours to my day.

I support the need for a relief road which does not end at junction 28 as the southern distributor road does.

Anne Williams, Portskewett, Monmouthshire

Don't believe the hype! The "traffic" is a complete red herring and most visitors will be staying outside of the town. I wouldn't mind but they said it will be great for Newport's children to see the golf which is a joke because no Newport schools have been invited to be in anyway involved so far.

Andrew, Newport

What a generous offer by the education authorities to make sure the overworked teachers can get to see the Ryder cup. It's hardly worth them going back after the summer holidays really!

Another keg-fisted event that hasn't been thought through and a bankrupt country can't afford - like the 2012 Olympics.

martyn nutland, Gueschart, France

The Ryder Cup will paralyse the traffic in Newport. Universities are not coming back until after it and people will not be able to get to work.

Newport is not equipped to cope and will end up being the laughing stock of the world.

Disgruntled, Cardiff

I wonder how much traffic congestion is going to be caused by frantic too-ing and fro-ing across the county not to mention the city to get all those children to their various aunties, uncles, grandparents etc for the day, I've never heard such a silly excuse for closing the schools.

jeannette, brynmawr

My son has the day off for the Ryder cup. It's ridiculous! I will have no annual leave at that time as it's towards the end of my holiday year in work. Its really frustrating for those of us who have to beg steal or borrow a babysitter for the day and I feel sorry for those without the help & support of close family & friends.

Debbie Carpenter, Cardiff

What on earth has this got to do with Cardiff - this insane that pupils in Cardiff get the day off for this event - are you telling me a 10year will stay at home and watch the event on TV - NO WAY

Jerry, Cardiff

Im assuming staff will still have to go into schools - how many pupils drive to school?!?! Why don't the Council actually speak to the teachers and not assume INSET days reduce traffic!!!

Jo Smith, Newport

How ridiculous. Yes I will have to take a day off to take care of my children. What a waste of my holiday and the productivity of the nation. Why not go the whole hog and declare a public holiday?? Because it's just a golf tournament, that's why. And I like golf ...

Sam, Cardiff

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