Our commercial team are core to our preparation and delivery of every event, conference and coach hire booking. Between them they have over 89 years of experience in the industry which is why they are passionate about delivering the best experience possible. Darren Platts gives an insight into the day in the life of managing transport for an event!

Event: UEFA Champions League Final held at the Principality Stadium, Cardiff
Date: 03 June 2017

Scale of activity

The Champions League Final (UCLF17) was the biggest sporting event worldwide in 2017. Transport for UEFA Champions League Final 2017 brought together a broad range of operational challenges, and was a huge logistical effort. A dedicated project team of 15 staff were deployed by FTS to plan and deliver a 600 plus coach operation the following services:

  • City Centre shuttles between Bristol & Cardiff for spectators
  • Workforce shuttles in Cardiff to ensure all staff had the means to get to/from the venue on time
  • Dedicated arrival & departure services for 30,000 spectators from 3 airport hubs to dedicated spectator sites in Cardiff
  • Accessible vehicle shuttles from transport hubs/interchanges to the venue
  • Media shuttle services from hotels to the venue & from Media parking to the venue
  • Spectator Park & Ride connecting the UEFA live site to the venue
  • VIP & Sponsor coach operations in Bristol & Cardiff, connecting airport hubs, hotels, functions & the venue

The key transport objectives of the UCLF17 were to ensure that:

  • All client groups can get to the right place, at the right time, in the safest and most efficient manner
  • Spectators and workforce can travel to and from the venue safely, in adequate time and comfort
  • The UEFA Champions League Final 2017 match venue has minimal potential impacts on local residents and businesses

On top of the vehicle recruitment, route planning, staff & driver training, FTS played a key role in the planning phase engaging with the stakeholders at each transport hub on the local area traffic management and parking plans, contingency measures, venue risk assessments, readiness exercises and robust integrated communication plans


  • UEFA (Event Owner)
  • Football Association of Wales (Local Organising Committee)
  • Cardiff City Council
  • Cardiff City Football Club
  • Cardiff, Bristol & Birmingham Airports
  • Bristol Temple Meads & Parkway Rail Stations
  • Great Western Rail (GWR)
  • Steer Davis Gleave (SWG)
  • Event People (EP)

Anything quirky/different

With most major international sporting events there is a slow ramp up of services; with the UCLF everything had to be right first time, no opportunity for staff or drivers to ‘bed-in.’ This meant that there was massive pressure to deliver when we had 600 plus vehicles on the road. This necessitated that during the planning phase that we left no stone unturned to cater for all operational scenarios that has the potential to occur, with mitigations and contingencies put in place. There was a huge emphasis on staff training, to ensure that everyone was well prepared and ready to go. As the 2 finalists were only known 4 weeks out from the event, we had to pre-plan in detail for several possible outcomes as the 2 finalists could have come from multiple countries with multiple requirements and impacts on the transport strategy. As with all events, flexibility is key and once the 2 finalists were known we were ready to finalise all the arrangements.

The feeling on the first day of delivery

It was a great buzz to oversee the execution of the service delivery and really bring to life the months of effort during the planning phase. Transport planning in the events world enables you to manage the project from inception through to delivery and it’s really rewarding to see the fruits of the teams labour. From our perspective, we absolutely love to take away the stress of planning transport from event organisers and enjoy the thrill of managing these operations on the ground, remaining calm under pressure and providing solutions to clients based on our experience.