Travel advice: World Half Marathon in Cardiff

The World Half Marathon Champions come to Cardiff on 26th March 2016, and it’s set to be the best event yet. But, there’s a lot going on in Wales’ capital, and travel can be tricky with road closures and changed services. So, here’s our full guide to getting around (other than actually during the half-marathon, that’s down to you!).

Road closures – around the event

From Monday 21st – Tuesday 29th March, there will be staggered road closures across the city as the route is built, run along, and then dismantled.

For a day-by-day breakdown of road closures in the city from Cardiff’s Traffic Management Team, please click here.

Road closures – on the day of the event

On Saturday March 26, the following road closures will be put in place from 4am until 5pmKingsway, Duke Street, Castle Street and Cowbridge Road East to its junction with Cathedral Road. Westgate Street will stay open North West Bound until 11.30am.

At 11 30am – North Road from its junction with Column Road to its junction with Boulevard de Nantes will close. Those travelling into the city centre via the A470 will need to travel down Column Road and Park Place.

At 12 30pm – The route road closures will be put in place. For full details of these, please click here.

From 2 30pm until 2 45pm – North Road from its junction with Column Road to its junction with Boulevard de Nantes will re-open but Column Road and Park Place will close. Those wishing to travel in an out of the city centre at this time are advised to use Boulevard de Nantes and North Road.

From 5pm – North Road, Kingsway, Duke Street, Castle Street, Westgate Street and Cowbridge Road East to its junction with Cathedral Road will re-open.

From 3 30pm until 7pm – Route road closures will re-open as the last runners finish the race.


We are, of course, encouraging using Liftshare to help cut down on car numbers in the city. Whether or not you’re driving into the city, or to a park and ride/suburb, be sure to offer your spare seats so others can book on. Or, if you think your normal journey might be disturbed because of the traffic changes, then type in your journey details and see if anyone else is going your way. Every person not in a separate vehicle helps!

If you’re heading into the city, it’s advised to use the Park and Ride facility at County Hall, or follow the green routes on this handy map. The Council advises shoppers to head into the city centre before 11am and to plan to leave after 2.30pm. Access to and from the north of the city will also be maintained either down North Road or Park Place, depending on the time you travel.

It’s expected that there will be considerable congestion on the highway network from 9am until 9pm on race day, with the queuing time on the highway expected to be up to 1.5hrs.

Park and ride facilities for shoppers will run from County Hall from 9am until 6pm, and takes you directly to John Lewis. Cost £3 per car (why not split it with your liftsharer?). There will be a staff presence from 9am, with the car park opening at 9 30am. The last bus will leave the pick-up point on Canal Street (by John Lewis) with the car park closing at 9 30pm.


National Express coaches will run to Sophia Gardens, and so remain unaffected by the event.

Cardiff Bus Services – changes to services

  1. Greyfriars Road Area will be set up a temporary stop for 21/21A, 23/23A, 24/24A, 27, 28/28A, 35 and 38
  2. The Parade, Newport Road will be set up as a temporary stop for 13 (Cyncoed), 30, 44/45, 49/50, 52, 57/58
  3. Wyndham Crescent, Canton will be set up as a temporary stop for 1 and 2 (to/from Heath Hospital), 15, 17/18, 61, 66 and 96
  4. Sophia Gardens will be set up as a temporary stop for 25, 62 and 63
  5. Buses that cross the city on routes 13 and 95 will be split and run to their respective new terminal points
  6. Baycar buses will run between County Hall and Customhouse Street only
  7. Buses to Barry and Penarth (not 96) will start and end in Canal Street and will not serve Grangetown or Penarth Road
  8. Buses to Pontprennau and Cyncoed will not serve Albany Road or Wellfield Road
  9. Buses to Thornhill via Lakeside on 28/28A will not serve Lakeside

Stagecoach – changes to services

  1. All Stagecoach services will start and terminate at Greyfriars Road all day
  2. Bus 122 – will run via North Road and will not serve Cathedral Road
  3. Bus 124 – will run via North Road all day and will not serve Cathedral Road
  4. Bus x3 – will run via North Road between 12 mid-day and 5 30pm and will not serve Newport Road
  5. Bus X16 – will run via North Road after 12 Mid-day and will not serve Newport Road (between Rumney Hill and the City Centre) for the rest of the day.

Arriva Trains Wales – engineering works

There will be major Network Rail Engineering Works on the Cardiff and Valley network between 9pm on Saturday March 26 and Tuesday March 29 (inclusive). This will involve major service amendments on the local Cardiff and Valleys train network due to essential modernisation work being undertaken by Network Rail.  The work will not start until 9pm on Saturday due to the World Half Marathon taking place.  Many local services into and out of Cardiff will be affected with bus replacements in operation, diversions will also be in place via different routes and trains will start and terminate from different stations. Customers using local rail services during this period are advised to check journey plans before travelling.  An overview of the timetable amendments can be found at the Arriva Trains Wales site.

However you’re travelling, be sure to plan in advance and leave plenty of time. Liftsharing could save carbon and cash, so be sure to check it out!

Image credit: Celf Creative/IAAF

Author Lex Barber


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