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Train passengers stranded after beer festival thanks to rugby match

By Nick Humphreys | Llandrindod Wells | News | Published:

Stranded beer connoisseurs at a popular festival were left drowning their sorrows after their trains were cancelled due to Wales' rugby match.

Train passengers were stranded due to services south being cancelled.

Around 40 people were waiting for replacement buses, which never turned up, for more than five hours at Llanwrtyd Wells. Some had to fork out more than £100 for taxis.

And now one of the organisers of the Mid Wales Beer Festival believes the future of the event could be plunged into doubt if Transport For Wales cancel trains late in the day.

The ten-day gala in Llanwrtyd Wells, which started on Saturday, is well-attended by people from Shropshire and beyond. But, following the Real Ale Wobble, a trip around local pubs to sample their beers, people travelling south on the train were left stuck in the town.

The Shrewsbury to Swansea service only went as far as Llanwrtyd Wells due to resources being used for rugby fans attending Wales v Tonga in Cardiff.

Mark Haslem, who organised the ramble, said that many people didn't know about the issue until they arrived at the station, and felt the announcement wasn't done early enough. "How can I organise an event like that in the future? What if there's another rugby fixture on?

"A lot of people didn't know until they heard the announcement at the station. Some people drove (so couldn't drink) and others just decided not to bother.

"We did the event last year and every pub was packed. This time you could get a seat wherever you liked.

"A town like that (Llanwrtyd Wells) has to fight for every tourist pound it gets. It feels like the train companies only care about the big centres and we are just left."

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Colin Lea, Commercial and Customer Experience Director for Transport for Wales, said: “I was disappointed to hear disruption on the Heart of Wales line and would like to apologise to those customers affected.

“We have been experiencing a significant number of trains being damaged whilst in service, which are in need of urgent repairs.

“As such we were only able to run services from Shrewsbury to Llanwrtyd Wells, with a replacement bus booked for the remainder of the route to Swansea.

“We will investigate what went wrong on the day and in the meantime all customers should contact us so we can arrange compensation.”

Nick Humphreys

By Nick Humphreys
Senior Reporter

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star focusing on Bridgnorth.

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