Shape of Queue: M4 traffic woe ahead of Ed Sheeran gig in Cardiff

National Highways says half-hour tailbacks on the M4 coincide with Ed Sheeran’s gig in Cardiff, half-term travel and a general traffic increase.

Lucas Cumiskey
Friday 27 May 2022 17:57
Stock image of the M4 (ben Birchall/PA)
Stock image of the M4 (ben Birchall/PA)

Transport disruption is unfolding at the outset of half-term as major congestion caused half-hour tailbacks on the M4 ahead of Ed Sheeran’s gig in Cardiff.

National Highways said it is seeing delays from Junction 19 on the M4 westbound, stretching across both the Severn Bridges into Cardiff, in Wales.

A spokesperson suggested the traffic may be partly attributable to Shape Of You pop star Sheeran, 31, playing in Cardiff, exacerbated by a half-term travel rush.

Social media is awash with fans complaining they are stuck in traffic en route to see Sheeran perform as part of his  “+ – = ÷ x” tour.

A National Highways spokesperson said: “From junction 19 to the Welsh side of the bridges, motorists are seeing around 30 minutes of delays, coinciding with Ed Sheeran performing in Cardiff, the school holiday getaway and a general increase in traffic.

“We are advising motorists to plan their journeys, or delay their journeys if not essential.”

Traffic Wales, the Welsh Government’s traffic information service, has warned of “severe” disruption on the M4 westbound between junctions J22 and J23.

But it anticipates traffic conditions on this stretch of road will return to normal between 6.15pm-6.30pm on Friday.

Stagecoach South Wales tweeted that it is experiencing half-hour delays on two of its services from Cardiff to Merthyr “due to traffic involved with the Ed Sheeran Concert in Cardiff”.

Liverpool supporters heading for the Champions League final in Paris wait amongst freight and holiday traffic queues at the Port of Dover in Kent (Gareth Fuller/PA)

Cardiff Council has also advised that some roads in the city centre will be closed from 4.30pm until 12.30am.

A spokesperson added: “Ed Sheeran will be performing at Principality Stadium on May 26, 27 and 28 and to facilitate these events, a full city centre road closure will be in place on health and safety grounds to ensure people can safely enter and leave the stadium after the concerts.”

It comes as Liverpool FC supporters travelling to the Champions League final and families embarking on half-term getaways faced long queues at the Port of Dover and UK airports.

Thousands of fans descended on the Kent port on Friday to board cross-Channel ferries en route to Paris for Saturday’s match.

Airline passengers were also stuck in lengthy queues at airports such as Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted and Bristol.

There is also high demand for sailings from families embarking on trips to the continent for half-term.

The port advised passengers to “pack adequate supplies including food and water” as it is expecting “a very busy week ahead”.

Ferry firm Irish Ferries warned customers to “expect delays of up to three hours at port security and check-in”.

P&O Ferries earlier wrote that traffic on Jubilee Way, a key road used to access the port, is “at a standstill” and there are “also queues on the A20 on the approach to Dover”.

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