It’s not just the racism and kiddy fiddling or even the tribal violence…

It’s also the inconvenience, cost and danger that large sporting events impose upon, and quite unfairly, those that are not wishing to play ball…

Here’s a complaint regarding Match Day Chaos in Canton from 2011 – it would appear that local authorities are unable to solve some (read all) problems…

This complaint to Cardiff City Council is a tongue-in-cheek attack on the idiocy of having large sports arenas in central locations and without the forethought to impose upon the stadia owners the need for appropriate parking. I will publish the council’s response when it is received…

What is your complaint?

On Sunday evening I attempted to pick up my girlfriend from the Cardiff Central railway station. She was returning from London with heavy bags. I could get nowhere near the station due to road closures and gridlock as there were adults being allowed to bring the city centre to a standstill because they wanted to watch other adults play some kind of a game.

Last night I went to visit my girlfriend, who lives on Radnor Road. There was no parking anywhere nearby and indeed she complained of road chaos earlier on. I had to park several streets away despite having her parking permit and I had to park illegally, risking getting a ticket. Apparently, the road nightmare in Canton was caused by adults going to see other adults play a game 1.2 miles distant, at Cardiff City Stadium.

I rarely drive around Cardiff but when I do I notice dreadful planning decisions, gridlock, drivers ignoring lights, expensive pay for parking not being used in favour of illegal parking, etc. I think Cardiff has a problem.

Have you suffered as a result of these matters?

I risked parking illegally and had to move my vehicle at 11pm, once the football supporters had left. I confronted those parked outside of my girlfriend’s house. I told them they did not have a permit. They really couldn’t give a s***.

How can we put things right?

If I wished to promote a new large event in Cardiff I assume you would want to make sure I had in place sufficient parking for the said event?

Given my girlfriend lives 1.2 miles from Cardiff City Stadium I believe this is a fail from that well-known football club and that you need to take action for the inconvenience and potential harm suffered by the residents that live both near and far from the stadium and who are affected by the inconsiderate sports enthusiast that use the football clubs grounds.

I am putting you on notice that if I suffer inconvenience from city centre or Cardiff City stadium events, be that delays in getting to work, parking fines because parking has been illegally taken by sports fans or any perceived stress in relation to these issues then I will be making a claim in Cardiff Courts for reparation including time and costs in the case.

You could have had a team of wardens out last night observing the traffic jams in a small residential street and ticketing all sports fans attending the match at the stadium. You would have made very much money indeed. But actions such as that are reactionary. You MUST ensure that business’ running events do not adversely impact others and in the first instance, you need to chat to Cardiff City and have them prove to you that they have enough parking or have arrangements with other car parks to cover the expected demand.

Surely you must agree that having residential streets jam-packed with cars a mile and a half and more from the event location is simply NOT ON!

Oh, and you can move Cardiff Arms Park out of town. Some people don’t appreciate senseless tribal behaviour running rampant across a capital cities central streets.

The council responded with platitudes and unintelligible words, you know, sentences that meant nothing. So I sent this:

Your response is as expected but is wholly unacceptable. The nightmare for residents regarding match days at Cardiff City has been ongoing for decades. A simple google search of news items will confirm this. It is not incumbent upon either my girlfriend or me to call you. It is YOUR JOB to ensure that traffic chaos is avoided. I was not looking to park outside of my girlfriend’s house but I would have expected to be able to park in her street or in an adjacent street, not multiple blocks away. I noted the cars outside her house, one of which had a permit and four did not. Remember, she lives 1.2 miles from Cardiff City – what must it be like just .5 miles distant?

It is not OK for a business to cause such disruption, at any time, and I expect Cardiff Council to issue warnings to the stadium owners to put in place, within the shortest possible time, parking for sporting fans adjacent to the stadium. If this is not possible I would suggest asking them to leave the city. I expect you to get back to me with your response to this demand.

As for Cardiff Arms Park, this is a disgrace. Any other business causing the chaos, the mess, and the distress within a capital city centre would be closed down. There is noise, there is the rubbish, there is the drunkenness and associated behavioral issues. Any google search for news items in relation to these issues will bring up multiple articles and again going back decades. 

I suggest that people living in Grangetown and having an emergency, say fire or accident, would be poorly serviced by the emergency services on a match day. I predict that at some stage someone will die as a result of gridlock if they haven’t already. I work in tourism and I am ashamed of Cardiff. Any visitor to the city caught up in an international will see, on a Sunday morning, a city that has been hit by a hurricane that passed over a rubbish dump and that released tons of crap onto the city streets. THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!! 

So, I will not be adhering to any parking regulations when I find myself inconvenienced by the idiots in the planning office at Cardiff Council who allowed such sporting structures to be built in such unsuitable locations. And if I am fined for such I will not be paying any fine. 

Further, if I am inconvenienced when visiting my girlfriend I will be seeking compensation from Cardiff City Council for such as I think decades of residential area chaos is unacceptable and unforgivable and you need to be made aware of this in the strongest of terms. 

So the council then responded with ‘we will not correspond further but you can go to the ombudsman so I wrote back with this:

You have not engaged on this matter at all. 

You have allowed Cardiff City to make local residents life a misery, on match days, for decades. 

Who is slipping what into who’s pockets I wonder. 

Well, seeing as you refuse to chat further on this matter and it would seem take any action to resolve the filth that are the rugby supporters (see Cardiff City Centre after a match) and the distress caused by Cardiff City to residents as far away as 1.5 miles from the stadium, then, so be it, but have it known that I will not be complying with any parking regulations on match days and if you issue me with any parking fine it will not be paid and a judge will need to to rule on the matter. 

You are a disgrace. Remember who pays your salaries and start working for them not for the corporations, the large business’ and of course, don’t forget, yourselves. 

And that’s where this is left. Me reusing to pay any future parking fine gained on a match day…

Author

Walk leader @ Wales Outdoors, life model @ Cardiff Life Models and poet @ Self Published I opened the first mountain bike hire business in the Brecon Beacons National Park in 1995. Since then my business, Wales Outdoors, has grown and morphed and is now the most active and most popular guided walks and adventure travel provider in Wales. Andy has been a volunteer co-ordinator, guided walks programme organiser and part time central area warden for the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, chair of Brecon Beacons Tourism, a Duke of Edinburghs area co-ordinator, a Princes Trust social inclusion manager, the catalyst for the Brecon Beacons National Park Environment Charter and a key motivator for the inception of the outdoor activity peer group, SWOAPG. Join Me! for a walk or two :)