The main operator of trains in southern England has warned travellers to be prepared for busy services during the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. The first game in the competition is being staged at London’s Twickenham Stadium on Friday at 20:00.
South West Trains (SWT) says thousands of fans are expected to crowd onto trains from Waterloo Station before the kick off. The company says this will cause delays to commuters as trains are already crowded and they will probably have to wait to get on a service home.
The SWT statement says it expects crowding on platforms and delays at Waterloo as well as stations like Clapham Junction and Putney once the peak travel period begins at 16:00 on Friday. It noted that if possible commuters and other travellers might be better off avoiding this area of London if at all possible on Friday afternoon.
The statement advised commuters they could change their working hours for the day or take a day of their annual holidays to avoid the rush. SWT also said commuters who had the option of walking or cycling to work should do so.
England play Fiji in the Rugby World Cup 2015 opening match on Friday. The woes of London’s commuters are liable to continue until the end of the competition on 31 October. Ten out of the 48 matches in the competition are scheduled to be staged at Twickenham.
Transport Focus is the UK travellers’ watchdog and director David Sidebottom said the Rugby World Cup was a major event that was not an everyday occurrence. He explained that most train passengers realised this and would probably tweak their travel arrangements accordingly.