Champions League Travel Advice

On the 3rd and 4th of June 2017 Cardiff plays host to the UEFA Champions League final.

It’s one of the largest sporting events to come to Cardiff for some time and, as is the custom with large sporting events, roads will be closed. However, things are a little different this time around.

As a result, the road closures needed around the City will be more extensive and longer lasting, than for other sporting events, and security measures may necessitate lane closures on some city centre routes. There will be road closures and diversions in the City Centre on Saturday 3 June and around Cardiff Bay and Castle St from 1 – 4 June.  The map below shows the extent of the road closures within the City and dates they are applicable.

Source: Road closures | Travel Changes | Cardiff 2017

The measures being put in place will feel very familiar to anyone milling around Cardiff during the NATO summit. If you were not in Cardiff then you will have missed the 10-foot fence running down North Road all the way to the junction with Cathedral Road and encircling Bute Park.

If you’ve been walking or cycling around Cardiff this week you’ll already have seen the familiar barricades appearing on Cowbridge Road East and outside the Hilton, among other places. You’ll also have seen them at the entrances to Bute Park.

It appears that closures really will be extensive and in two phases. From the 1st June until the 5th, much of Cardiff Bay will be closed off, starting from Lloyd George Avenue and extending all the way down to Harbour Drive.

Further north, Cowbridge Road East will be closed from the corner of Westgate Street to the junction with Cathedral Road.

From midnight on Saturday 3rd June things step up into high gear and Cardiff goes into lockdown. North Road from the junction with Colum Road; the Civic Centre; Boulevard de Nantes; Queen Street; Tyndal Street; the Bay as before; Dumballs Road; Penarth Road from Corporation Road & Clare Road; Penydris Street; Tudor Street; Cowbridge Road East & Sophia Close.

The Trails

Our bicycles during this time will be by far the best way to get around —the website even recommends it, twice actually (guess they are still waiting for the Welsh translation…), but they do suggest that with 170,000 wandering around on, lets face it, mostly shared infrastructure some disruption is inevitable on our local routes, particularly around Bute Park.

Due to the scale of the Event there will be some disruption to local cycle routes including around Bute Park, the City Centre and the Bay. While every effort has been made to keep disruption to a minimum some cycle routes will temporarily be closes and wherever possible alternative routes will be clearly signed. Those who are considering cycling in areas likely to be disrupted are advised to allow extra time for their journeys

Source: Walking & cycling | Travel Changes | Cardiff 2017

In fairness, we cycled to the Roald Dahl City of the Unexpected, mostly because we were in it, but had we not been it would have been a nightmare navigating town on a bike. It was hard enough getting the big dining table from the Arms Park to the Angel Hotel and that was only across the road. Crowdsurfing would have been the best way to get around on the Saturday, let’s put it that way.

This time around, on 3rd June Bute Park is being used for the “UEFA Champions Village” and the interior of Cardiff Castle becomes the UEFA Football Village. If you normally come down the Taff Trail and cut through Bute Park, you may want to give that a miss for a few days.

Pontcanna Fields will also be hosting around 5,000 campers from 31st May to 5th June, which may well make the stretch of the Taff Trail from Blackweir to Sophia Gardens very busy indeed.

Champions League Road Closures

Our advice

Without knowing exactly how these road closures will be enforced it is difficult to know how difficult it will be to get around Cardiff in the run-up to the 3rd June. Those of us working in Cardiff (and that includes us) will need to see how things are taking shape early next week.

It is also difficult to predict how many people will attempt to drive around outside the exclusion zone during this time. We could see an awful lot of stationary traffic or we could see people leave their cars at home and get around by other means.

The other unknown is quite how much bike parking will be available in town or on the outskirts. The exclusion zone is mercifully small, so you could park your bike in Cathays; Riverside or Grangetown and walk in. We have a Parking Map that may be helpful here. We’re hoping that the council will put out a lot more temporary racks just as they have outside the Hilton.

A little while ago, in response to the disappointing condition of the Taff Trail during the winter months we wrote a post about alternative routes. It may prove useful to you here, but the Trail should be fine as far as the Talybont student residences where you can take the path to the left that leads to the ambulance station and then cross to Colum Road and follow that into town.

Beyond that, the information we’ve found isn’t detailed enough to give you a better idea of how passable these closures will be. Some improvisation will be necessary for all of us, but hopefully things should start to become clearer over the next few days and we’ll share whatever we can find with you.


A ring of steel is starting to take shape around the stadium.

Bute Park update

The new Castle Street footbridge…

No additional bike parking

Finally, in news that really grinds our gears…

Apparently people are chaining their bikes to pretty much everything…

2 thoughts on “Champions League Travel Advice

  1. Gavin,

    Slightly off topic, do you know what has happened to the city cycle scheme? It seems to have gone very quiet and I thought they were supposed to be installing it now?



    1. Hi Barny, looking at the timetable for the cycling strategy, they’ve said 2017-18 for the hire scheme. We’re in month 2 of 17-18, so they have about 10 months left. 😉

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