Supporters left waiting by safety fears
10:50am Monday 4th October 2010 in Ryder Cup news
RYDER Cup visitors were left waiting in their cars at park and rides or milling around Newport railway station yesterday when the Celtic Manor was temporarily closed amid safety fears because of slippery conditions. MELISSA JONES and CHRIS WOOD report.
FRUSTRATED golf fans were left at Newport's railway station for hours yesterday, as the Celtic Manor was closed to spectators.
Heavy rainfall overnight meant the course was closed to spectators until 11am, because of the potential danger from muddy walkways and embankments.
Spectators were advised to remain at home and await further information before travelling or for those already at the park and ride venues to remain in their vehicles.
Spectator buses eventually started running from 11am when it was announced that play would start at 1.30pm.
Those at Newport's railway station were told they would be kept inside or put onto buses to wait at Newport's Hilton hotel.
By 9.30am, hundreds were shuttled onto coaches to take them to the four-star venue, while others waited patiently for more news.
Some spilled out onto the pavement, including Germans Alex Mehrtens, 26 and Yannick Schuett, 23.
The friends, who had travelled from Aachen to see their favourite sport, were "disappointed" they were asked to pay £10 for a coach seat.
"What frustrates me is you pay more than £100 for your ticket, they shut down the course and when you get here there's no free tea, golf ball or umbrella. It's a lot of money," Mr Mehrtens said.
Darren Ryemill, 29 and his six friends left Bristol at 6.30am and after hearing the news to stay in their cars, headed to Newport city centre and took refuge in a local pub.
"They wanted us to stay in our car for hours," he said.
A group of four golf fans from the London area, said they felt they were left stranded in Newport for several hours.
They said the queue at The John Wallace Linton free house was three deep around the bar, so they headed to McDonalds for refreshments instead.
One of the men, James Brooks, 33, of Henley-on-Thames, said: "When we arrived I asked someone 'what would you do in Newport for two hours?' and he said 'go to Cardiff.' But the people are really friendly."
After driving three hours from Shrewsbury, Ron and Richard Marston say they were turned away at Llanwern park and ride at 8am.
Ron Marston said: “There was no-one on the gate to give us information about what was happening and confusion reigned. The services were heaving and it was a nightmare because people just didn’t know what was going on or where to go”.
He said cars were turning back towards Cardiff and Newport and the Marstons were finally allowed into the park and ride at 10am.
Mr Marston added: “There was so many different stories, people saying there'd be an inspection at 11am, then noon. It’s a shame it has been pretty well organised up until now”.
The pair plan to come again today as does Matthew Crocker, from Bassaleg.
He said: “I heard on the news it was closed so stayed in bed. We’ve just got to make the most of it.”