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New traffic-free route in Pembrey to boost local economy

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261340009_hols_sw_CefnSidan_16x9AN IMPORTANT new walking and cycling route linking the villages of Pembrey and Kidwelly with Pembrey Country Park, Burry Port and the Millennium Coastal Path will be officially opened this Friday (Aug 5). The new route will provide enhanced, traffic-free access to popular tourism destinations along the Carmarthenshire coast and also link to two existing walking and cycling routes that are already a hit with tourists and local users.

The path will enhance the experience of visitors and increase the numbers using local services and facilities, rather than bypassing them.  It has been estimated that the route will attract an additional 9,250 tourist trips each year and increased annual spending of up to £287,000 in the town. It will also encourage people to travel actively, improve connectivity and enhance the quality of life of the community and visitors.

The £300,000 project has been delivered by Sustrans Cymru, Carmarthenshire County Council and the Coastal Communities Fund. The new route is a 1.6km path along a disused railway line that runs through the heart of Pembrey. It will provide access to the popular tourist attractions Pembrey Country Park and to the Millennium Coastal Path. The project has also upgraded and installed new signage along the 10km route between Burry Port and Kidwelly.

The original route consisted of a narrow, worn and muddy track with overgrown vegetation. The new path has been constructed along a disused railway line and includes safe road crossings. Users will benefit from an improved surface making it accessible all year round. It also provides an alternative alignment for the Celtic Trail, part of the National Cycle Network, avoiding sections in Pembrey Forest which have been severely affected by flooding in recent years.

A bicycle ride will be held to celebrate the opening of the new path. Invitees to the event include the local MP, AM, Councillors, and representatives of local businesses.

Jane Lorimer, National Director at Sustrans Cymru said: “I am delighted that Sustrans in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council has been able to provide this new route, thanks to funding from the Coastal Communities Fund (CCF).  We know where routes have been built in coastal areas in Wales they have resulted in people walking and cycling for more of their everyday journeys, helping them to lead healthier lifestyles, save money and enjoy the beautiful scenery around us.  This new route offers great potential to boost tourism and have an impact on how local people choose to get about every day.”

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “The new path will link up the communities of Burry Port, Pembrey and Kidwelly to the very popular coastal path creating a safe, traffic-free route for people to use for commuting and for pleasure.”

Council Leader Emlyn Dole said: “Carmarthenshire is set to become the cycling capital of Wales; the county already has a reputation for being a great place for mountain biking and future plans include a new velodrome in Carmarthen and a £5million expansion to the Tywi Valley cycleway.

“We welcome this latest investment in Pembrey which will complete the route that links Burry Port Harbour, the MCP, and Pembrey Country Park with Kidwelly and the Gwendraeth Valley cycle route.

“As well as being a healthy and environmentally friendly way of getting around, cycling is a growing sport and a major contribution to Carmarthenshire’s thriving tourism industry.”

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Antisocial behaviour falls as police operation continues

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POLICE said that they saw a reduction in antisocial behaviour involving young people in Carmarthenshire over the weekend, following weeks of increased activity.

Dyfed-Powys Police officers proactively patrolled areas which have recently become hot spots for teenagers to gather and drink alcohol as part of an ongoing operation.

A police presence was also maintained on trains between Llanelli and Carmarthen to identify how many youngsters were travelling in the area and where they were getting off.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “Over the weekend we continued our work to target, deter and deal with antisocial behaviour and underage drinking in hot spots identified primarily in Llanelli and Burry Port.

“Section 34 dispersal orders had been put in place ahead of the weekend, meaning we could move on anyone likely to cause antisocial behaviour, but thankfully they were not required. This is an improvement on previous weekends when we have had to exercise these powers.

“A significant number of young people were spoken to, with the vast majority being pleasant, not under the influence of alcohol, and not causing any trouble.

“Members of the public acknowledged the high police presence, as did the young people, and this might have deterred underage drinking.

“We are very pleased to have seen the change in attitudes and behaviour this weekend.”

The force received just one call reporting youngsters gathering at Burry Port harbour, with no offences or antisocial behaviour identified by attending officers.

Of the young people spoken two over the weekend, two were found with alcohol which was seized. Follow-up antisocial behaviour letters will be issued, and home visits will take place shortly.

Groups were also reminded of the dangers of swimming near the harbour and were encouraged to take their rubbish home.

Officers on the rail network removed one drunk adult from a train.

Sgt Davies said: “I would like to thank all officers involved in the operation over the weekend, as well as the young people who made sure they stayed within the law while enjoying the weather.

“We will be out and about again next weekend and throughout the summer, making sure the area is enjoyable for all who visit.”

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Lord Lieutenant visits Mass Vaccination Centre

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Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sarah Edwards, has paid tribute to all those involved in the COVID-19 vaccination programme during a visit to the Y Ffwrness Mass Vaccination Centre in Llanelli.

During the visit on Wednesday 9th June she was joined by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr.Jonathan Gravell. They met and spoke to the centre’s vaccinators, NHS staff, security staff and volunteers.

To date, the collective efforts of mass vaccination centres, GP practices and community pharmacies in Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Pembrokeshire, have resulted in the Hywel Dda University Health Board delivering over 431,850 vaccinations. This means 266,785 of the eligible population have now received a first vaccine, and 165,056 have received both doses.

The Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed said: “It was wonderful to see first-hand the incredible work being undertaken by the vaccinators, NHS staff and volunteers. They have played a crucial role in the success of the vaccine rollout programme. I would also pay tribute to the public for their overwhelmingly positive response to getting vaccinated.”

Maria Battle, Chair of Hywel Dda University Health Board, added: “On behalf of the health board, I was delighted to welcome Her Majesty’s Lord-Lieutenant of Dyfed, Miss Sara Edwards, the Vice Lord-Lieutenant, Lt Col David Mathias, and the High Sheriff of Dyfed, Mr Jonathan Gravell. I am deeply proud of everyone involved in the vaccination programme and I’m glad they got to see for themselves the incredibly work being undertaken to help get us through this pandemic.”

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Alcohol seized and teenager arrested as police deal with antisocial behaviour

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POLICE seized large amounts of alcohol and arrested a teenager as they continued to deal with antisocial behaviour over the weekend.

Dyfed-Powys Police had proactive plans in place to deal with ongoing issues of groups of youngsters gathering in Carmarthenshire following rising reports of alcohol-related antisocial behaviour over the past two months.

Dispersal orders were in place across Llanelli and Burry Port, giving police the powers to move anyone believed to be causing a nuisance, harassment or distress out of the area.

Officers patrolling the rail network in Carmarthenshire on Saturday noticed a large amount of young people getting off the train at Ferryside, where an additional dispersal order was put in place and alcohol was seized.

Officers were also required to deal with children trespassing on the railway tracks.

Sergeant Gemma Davies said: “We had received reports of children with alcohol running across the tracks, which posed a huge danger to themselves and others, and had to be stopped as a priority.

“One boy who was detained became abusive towards officers and could not be reasoned with. Officers had no choice but to arrest him for his own safety and to prevent further offences from being committed.

“This incident goes to show that the kind of behaviour we are dealing with goes beyond groups of young people meeting to have a good time, and is putting people in highly dangerous situations.”

A 17-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of trespassing on the railway and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

He has been released under investigation pending further enquiries by British Transport Police.

Early intervention was taken in the Trostre area of Llanelli, where officers noticed groups of children meeting on Saturday.

Sgt Davies said: “More than 60 young people were moved on from both locations and a large amount of alcohol was seized.

“Out of these groups, four notices were issued to those causing the most trouble in the Trostre area which prevented them from returning, and each of these youngsters were taken home.

“This swift action was a deterrent to other young people who were planning on joining the groups and were still travelling to the area.”

“We will continue to put plans in place each weekend and over the summer holidays to deal with antisocial behaviour, using all powers available to us to put a stop to it.”

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