Cardiff City fans have called on Arriva Trains Wales to reconsider its decision to stop trains calling at Ninian Park station for Bluebirds’ home games.
The rail company has announced plans to suspend services for three hours either side of kick-offs from the Brighton match next Wednesday.
It says the decision has been made after talks with Cardiff City FC, British Transport Police, South Wales Police and the Welsh Government. Trains will stop at Grangetown station instead.
Peter Northcott, head of stations, said: “We believe that encouraging the use of Grangetown station will better suit the needs of passengers as the station benefits from more frequent services and wider platforms and will provide passengers with a more pleasant and safer journey experience to and from the match.”
But Cardiff City Supporters’ Trust hit out at the decision – and said fans should have been spoken to before the decision was made.
Tim Hartley, chairman of the trust, said: “We understand that Arriva wants fans to use Grangetown railway station, rather than Ninian Park, before and after matches because of a fear of overcrowding.
“We don’t believe there are capacity issues at this station ahead of games because supporters do not arrive in huge numbers at the same time.
“Our view is that trains coming down from the Valleys to Cardiff Central can call safely at Ninian Park station before games kick off.
“There may be an argument for trying to manage the numbers after the match but we are disappointed that there was no consultation between Arriva Trains Wales and supporters’ groups before these changes were announced.
“This will add a lot to journey times for many fans and will be a real inconvenience. This station, after all, was built to serve the old Ninian Park ground.”
He said the trust understood from the football club that it had been in discussion with Arriva Trains Wales.
“We hope the railway company will review this decision and make changes so that fans can use the most convenient station for the Cardiff City Stadium at match days,” added Mr Hartley.
Travel to Grangetown via Cardiff Central is every 12 minutes, Monday to Saturday, with the stadium only being a 10-minute walk along Sloper Road.
Passengers who are unable to use stairs should contact Arriva Trains Wales Assisted Travel 24 hours in advance on 0845 300 3005.
Visit Arriva Trains Wales for details of train times and fares, or contact National Rail Enquiries on 08457 48 49 50.