For students living in Richmond, Saturdays are the perfect day to make the trip into central London. And, unless you stay for a club at night, you must have noticed a massive increase in the difficulty of traveling home. Recently, some friends and I headed to the South Bank for the day. We thought we were being particularly clever in taking the National Rail directly to Waterloo. Only on the ride back to Richmond did we realize the mistake we had made. On the National Rail from Waterloo to Windsor, the stop after Richmond is Twickenham. And of course, it was the day of the England versus Wales match. We were shoulder to shoulder with rowdy rugby fans for the whole of our ride home. It was overwhelming, but it was impossible to not get excited for the game.
There has been a really obvious trend on the weekends here in Richmond, endless fans in rugby jerseys filling up the streets and pubs well into the night. Being as we are so close to Twickenham, the rugby world cup really does take over the town for about three days a week.
It was predicted that nearly five hundred thousand visiting fans would be here for the games, amassing a near £1 billion increase in GDP. Most of those predictions had to do with the first month of the world cup, but for Twickenham (and Richmond), things will get all the more busy, as Twickenham Stadium will be hosting games of increasing importance until the final on October 31st.
On the other hand, with Australia having seen off England last Saturday, thus ending their world cup, and as the group stages come to an end, and many more teams are sent packing, the influx is subject to some change. Although, Even with England out, Wales, Ireland, and Australia’s hopes are still very much alive, making it seem like a very small decrease in visitors. People will be bearing down on Richmond and Twickenham especially for the latter games as the world cup draws increasingly closer to a close. Transport for London has issued a map detailing exactly what stations will be problematic for matches at Twickenham.
Fortunately, for those who prefer unhindered transport over rugby, the next match at Twickenham is not until October 17th. Until then, embrace being able to find a seat in a Richmond pub, and enjoy cheering on world-class rugby so close to the action.