Fans attending the first big stadium concert in Bristol for three years are being urged not to drive there and plan their transport arrangements in advance.
Fans heading to The Killers gig at Ashton Gate on Thursday are being encouraged to book one of the shuttle buses from a variety of park and ride facilities, or plan to use public transport to get to the South Bristol stadium.
Roads around the venue will be closed and a residents’ parking system will be created, so any concert-goers who rock up to Ashton Gate and park in a nearby street may well find their car towed.
With crowds of up to 30,000 people expected for The Killers gig, a huge logistical transport operation is being prepared, with extra buses, trains and coaches being provided to get rock fans to and away from Ashton Gate.
The Killers are being supported by Manic Street Preachers, and it will be the first stadium gig at Ashton Gate since the summer series of 2019 which saw the Spice Girls, Take That, Muse and Rod Stewart pack the crowds in.
Ashton Gate has issued an urgent appeal to everyone attending to work out how they are going to get there – and choose from a range of options: from shuttle buses, coaches, trains and extra regular buses.
Shuttle buses are being laid on from four sites, including two park and ride sites. The buses, being operated by First Bus, will run from:
The Portway Park and Ride at Avonmouth, on the A4 close to junction 18 of the M5.
The Brislington Park and Ride site, on the A4 between Brislington and Keynsham.
Temple Meads and the city centre, for anyone able to get into the middle of the city or coming in on the train to Temple Meads.
The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, close to junction 17 of the M5.
But, bosses at Ashton Gate have warned people they have to book these in advance – and there are limited places on board. Click here to book them.
“With just two days to go until The Killers play at Ashton Gate, concert-goers are urged to take advantage of special event Shuttle Buses laid on to help get fans to and from the stadium,” said Ashton Gate spokesperson. “With no parking onsite, road closures and parking restrictions surrounding the immediate area of the stadium, fans attending Thursday’s concert have just 48 hours left to book their Shuttle Bus ticket as these must be purchased in advance of the concert. Most services are available only by pre-booking and, with a last-minute heavy demand, are expected to sell out,” she added.
Parking at the Mall and the two Park and Ride sites is free, but you have to buy your bus ticket in advance. Before the event, the shuttle buses will start running from 3pm, until 7pm. After the last chord from The Killers fades away over the South Bristol sky on Thursday evening, the shuttle buses will pick up from Winterstoke Road, outside the stadium, and will get priority in the traffic around the venue.
“In 2019 concert shuttle buses were exceptionally popular with almost 6,000 people using them for each of the four Summer Series concerts. Due to limited capacities at the park and ride sites all services sold out during the week before each concert,” she said.
For fans of The Killers coming from further afield, coaches are being laid on from 15 different locations – as far away as Swansea and Exeter.
The Big Green Coach company are operating special coaches to and from Ashton Gate for The Killers from Cardiff, Cheltenham, Exeter, Newport, Plymouth, Swansea, Taunton and Worcester.
Bakers Dolphin are picking up from Bridgwater, Highbridge, Burnham, Weston, Worle, Clevedon and then Gordano Services before heading in to Ashton Gate.
Anyone wanting to book onto one of those coaches should get in touch with the companies individually.
There is a shuttle bus from Bristol Temple Meads station for anyone arriving in the city by train. It’s about a two mile walk along the River Avon to the stadium, if you fancy it.
The nearest station to Ashton Gate is Parson Street Station, two stops down on the line to Weston-super-Mare. That station is about ten or 15 minutes walk from Ashton Gate, at the other end of Winterstoke Road.
Trains run every hour in both directions and GWR has confirmed they will be running an extra train for The Killers gig, which will stop at Parson Street at 11.50pm and head south to Nailsea & Backwell, Yatton, Worle and Weston-super-Mare.
Ashton Gate isn’t particularly well-served by Bristol’s bus network, but there will be extra buses put on by First Bus on the afternoon and evening.
The stadium is served pretty much directly by two buses, the 23 and 24, which run from nearby Duckmoor Road and Ashton Road into the city centre.
The m1 metrobus service, and the 75 and 76 buses go to Parson Street Station – at the other end of Winterstoke Road, about 15 minutes away to the south.
And to the west of the stadium, there are other bus options: the X1, X2, X4 and X9 buses all go from the city centre to a range of North Somerset destinations, including Weston, Portishead and Nailsea. They all stop in Bower Ashton on the other side of the Winterstoke junction from the stadium.
What won’t be working
Bristol City Council and the Government spent £220 million on the Metrobus system, and it included an entirely new road created especially for the m2 metrobus service. This runs from the Long Ashton Park and Ride, right past Ashton Gate Stadium and into the city centre.
However, metrobus admitted that the m2 was ‘never intended’ to be for major events at Ashton Gate, and the bus service itself will stop before the concert ends on Thursday.
Anyone thinking it would be ideal to park in the Long Ashton Park And Ride – a 10 minute walk from the stadium – better not: they will find it closed on Thursday at 9pm.
Taxis and getting dropped off
Ashton Gate Stadium bosses are advising people getting a lift to the stadium not to try to get too close – the roads will be closed and it could well be gridlock. There is no designated drop-off point at the stadium before the event. “Fans will find it much quicker to be dropped at least ½ mile from the stadium and walk from there,” a spokesperson said. “Please note parking enforcement and police will be patrolling to keep key roads moving. The A369, A370 and A3029 are fast, busy roads which do not permit waiting and are unsafe to stop on – they should only be crossed at controlled crossing points.”
After the event, the Sainsbury’s car park in Winterstoke Road is a designated pick-up point, and for taxis too, but expect to wait. “Anyone picking up here must do so in the main car park and keep all surrounding roads and approach roads clear,” said a spokesperson for Ashton Gate. “The car park is expected to be busy and will take some time to clear post-event so please be patient. Police will be positioned locally to ensure all waiting restrictions are enforced and highways kept clear,” she added.
There will also be a designated taxi pick up point after the concert in Ashton Road, next to the park, with a queueing system in place.
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