Frustration and fears about impact rail strikes will have on major county events

They have been months in the planning but two major events both look set to suffer the impact of the rail strikes.

Shrewsbury Food Festival takes place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26.
Shrewsbury Food Festival takes place over the weekend of Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26.

Comics Salopia and Shrewsbury Food festival both take place this weekend, with Saturday's shut-down of Shropshire's rail system causing frustration for organisers and those looking to attend the events.

Today, Thursday, and Saturday, will all see no trains running through the county at all – with the service also set to face major disruption on the days between.

Shrewsbury Food Festival, which takes place on Saturday and Sunday, attracts anywhere between 25,000 and 30,000 visitors, with around 20 per cent from outside the county.

Beth Heath, of organisers Shropshire Festivals, said the situation could be behind a spike in sales for the Sunday.

She said: "The ticket sales for Sunday are higher than they usually are so it might be more people coming then because of that but there is no way of knowing for sure.

"It is frustrating but we are just hoping people just come and park in the town and use the park and ride – people can also bike in and use our bike crèche."

She added: "There is the knock-on effect for Shrewsbury and Shropshire's economy though. Fewer people will be coming in, spending money and enjoying themselves."

Comics Salopia, which runs from Friday to Sunday, will feature some of the biggest names in comic books worldwide.

The line-up includes legendary artists and writers behind a host of popular comics, including The Walking Dead, Watchmen, Thor, Secret Wars, and more.

Festival director Shane Chebsey said that it was disappointing that the strike might stop some people from attending.

He said: "It has caused us a lot of problems, it is right on the main day of the event and it does mean we will be getting less visitors from outside the area.

"It is a shame because that is a big part of what the festival is about, bringing people from outside to Shrewsbury."

Mr Chebsey said that despite the difficulties they have made sure the entire line-up for the event remains intact.

He said: "We are still looking forward to a fantastic day and all the guests are still coming, which is the important thing.

"People who come are still going to have a great time and we are still expecting a great attendance. I have spoken to people from Birmingham and Manchester who are still coming. It is not the end of the world, it has just caused us a bit of a headache."

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