Monday, 8 February 2016


The Commonwealth Games in Cymru / Wales in 1958 
With the 2016 Six Nations Rugby Championship kicking off today over the weekend it was particularly fitting for Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood to outline how a Plaid Cymru government would work to make Wales a globally recognised sporting stage by attracting some of the world's greatest championships and tournaments. If elected in May, a Plaid Cymru government, will bid for Wales to host the Commonwealth Games in 2026/2030, as well as bidding for the Tour de France to come to Wales, for both men and women. This would not only help raise Wales' profile as a nation that consistently punches above its weight in the sporting world, but would also secure a welcome boost for our vital tourism industry and leave a long lasting legacy.

Plaid Cymru Leader Leanne Wood said:

"2016 is shaping up to be a fantastic year for Welsh sports. With our national football team making history by qualifying for the European Championships, and the Six Nations rugby tournament kicking off this weekend after a strong World Cup for Wales, we must make the most of these occasions.

"Plaid Cymru wants to harness the excitement and ambition that comes with our nation's great sporting successes, and prove that we can not only produce world-class athletes but also act as a world-class for some of the greatest championships and tournaments on earth.

"A Party of Wales government would want to bring the best international sporting occasions to Wales.

"We will develop a Commonwealth Games bid with Wales as the host nation in 2026/2030 - something that would not only have the potential to inspire a whole generation to get involved in sports but also secure a welcome boost for our tourism sector.

"We will also bid to bring the Tour de France to Wales, for both men and women, and work with sports associations and the tourist industry to identify other opportunities for Wales to act as hosts.

"Plaid Cymru knows that Wales has all the ingredients to be a global success story. Under our leadership, the next Welsh government will ensure that our nation is renowned for excellence, on and off the pitch."

Wednesday, 3 February 2016


On the 6th February the 6 Nations rugby internationals kick off, rugby fans will prepare themselves for over crowded trains and the usual excuses from the rail franchise holders. On Friday 28thFebruary Wales play France. Rugby fans will face the ordeal of a Friday night international match, with an 8pm kick-off and the logistical perfect storm that awaits them. 

Simply getting to (and from) Cardiff on a Friday evening, with the lack of late trains, and scheduled maintenance – may more than try fans patience. It will be grim for Welsh Rugby fans, travelling south and east to Cardiff before kick-off, but it may be even grimmer afterwards when they try to get home. 

Bitter experience relayed by supporters (and would be rail travellers) tells me that the franchise holders will run short trains, when these trains reach Abergavenny, Pontypool, Cwmbran, Chepstow, Caldicot, Severn Tunnel Junction and Newport (not to mention Hereford, Lydney and Gloucester) they will be so full that passengers cannot board them. 

Prepare for the usual excuses from Arriva Trains Wales as to why this overcrowding problem happens and how it will be avoided next time. The reality is that the short-term rental costs of hiring extra trains would be cost prohibitive. The day the rail franchise moves to a not for dividend profit cannot come soon enough.