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Newport mum gets taxi from Cardiff to Barry Island amid train chaos

A MOTHER found herself out of patience – and out of pocket – when trying to get to Barry Island.

Kamila Jarczak, who lives in Newport, planned a trip to Barry Island with her five-year-old daughter yesterday (June 1) and booked her train tickets the night before.

As she does not yet drive, she relied on public transport – she got a taxi from her Ringland home to Newport train station and then boarded on a Newport train to Cardiff Central station with no issues.

But she claims when she arrived to Cardiff Central there were hundreds of people waiting to board for Barry Island and she was unable to get on the train she had hoped to get – despite Transport for Wales putting on additional services to Barry Island to cope with the predicted demand.

Although it’s possible to buy tickets in advance for Cardiff to Barry it isn’t possible to reserve seats on specific trains, meaning when there is high demand people may not be able to hop on board the train they planned to. Transport For Wales say they operate within Covid guidelines and a queuing system is in place

After waiting in the heat for an hour with her daughter, Ms Jarczak said she was told it would be a two and a half hour wait, so she booked and paid for a Dragon Taxi instead.

“It was absolutely awful and so badly managed,” said Ms Jarczak who is claiming a refund.

“Like many people there I bought my ticket in advance but every time there was a queue of hundreds of people waiting for the train.

“There was no social distancing in the queues but to be honest it was hot and awful that you didn’t care.

“Why do they assume it’s okay to stand in queue in the sun with no cover? If there is no space, then they shouldn’t sell tickets.

“It was very disappointing.”

A crowd management team were at Cardiff Central who reportedly kept people up to date with waiting times and handed out hundreds of bottles of water.

People who decided not to travel, or to use alternative transport, due to queuing times are able to claim a refund.

A spokesperson for Transport for Wales said: “Due to the recent fine weather there has been an exceptionally high demand for services across the network, particularly to popular destinations such as Barry Island.

“We are working hard to meet this demand, while also still operating within the Welsh and UK Government’s guidance for public transport during the pandemic. All available carriages are in use and where possible, additional services and road transport are being provided.

“Queuing systems are in place at busy stations to protect customers and our staff and to enable social distancing.

“Passengers are advised to use our Capacity Checker tool and plan ahead as much as possible, as services are likely to be busier during periods of good weather because of the social distancing measures in place.

“We would like to thank customers for their understanding during these challenging times.”

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