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Rail passengers reminded to check before travelling

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PASSENGERS are being urged to check before they travel ahead of essential modernisation work between Cardiff and Newport this February.

The work forms part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan for Wales, to enable Great Western Railway’s new fleet of Intercity Express Trains to run between London and Cardiff on electricity, improving journeys for passengers.

Services between Cardiff and Newport will be reduced by an average of two trains an hour from February 12-25, with rail replacement buses operating for all services between Cardiff Central and Newport stations on February 17, 18 and 25.

Between February 12 and 25, engineers will be preparing the stretch of railway between the two cities for the equipment needed to power GWR’s new Intercity Express Trains, which will run on electricity from London to Cardiff. The work being delivered will include piling and post installation.

Cardiff residents are also reminded that Splott Road Bridge will be closed from February 4 – 27.

The original bridge, which connects Splott to Adamsdown, is too low to accommodate the overhead line equipment needed for trains running on electricity and, at 117 years old, the bridge has reached the end of its lifespan. It is being replaced with a new and improved structure, raised to give clearance for trains running on electricity, and strengthened to withstand modern city centre traffic.

Modernising the railway between London and Cardiff will provide more seats and better on-board facilities for passengers travelling between the two capital cities and beyond, with the new trains running between Cardiff and Swansea on diesel.

Steve Keighley, programme manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “The new Intercity Express Trains, which run on both electric and diesel, will provide extra seats and better on-board facilities for thousands of passengers. We are working closely with our partners at Arriva Trains Wales and Great Western Railway to make sure people can still get where they need to be with a bus replacement service in operation during this essential upgrade work.

“We would like to thank passengers and residents for their patience during this improvement work and urge people to check before travelling.”

Bethan Jelfs, customer services director for Arriva Trains Wales said: “Investing in our infrastructure here in south Wales is vital to the long term future of our railway.

“We have been working closely with our partners in Network Rail to ensure as few passenger journeys as possible were affected by this.

“The work at Splott Road Bridge will mean some service changes between Cardiff and Newport and we would urge all our customers to check their journeys ahead of travelling.”

GWR development manager Wales, Mark Young man said: “New Intercity Express Trains have been operating between South Wales and London Paddington, since last October, providing as much as 24% more seats than the trains they have replaced.

“The electrification of the line between Cardiff and London will allow us to deliver the full benefit of these new trains, with more frequent, and quicker, journeys.”

More detail on rail services and replacement buses, as well as up to date journey information, can be found via www.nationalrail.co.uk or by calling Travel Line Cymru on 0800 464 0000.

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Police investigating mobile phone thefts

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TWO incidents of recent thefts of mobile phones from stores in Llanelli and Carmarthen are being investigated by Dyfed-Powys Police.

Four Apple iPhones were stolen from Currys & PC World store at Parc Pemberton, Llanelli, at around 7.15pm on Monday, August 13.

A second incident took place at the Carphone Warehouse store at St Catherine’s Walk, Carmarthen on Tuesday, August 14, at around 9.30am where 10 mobile phones were stolen.

They are strongly believed to be linked.

In both incidents, three men – believed to be in their 20s – made threats to staff and stole mobile phones.

In the Llanelli incident, one of the suspects was white, medium build, around 5’5” and was wearing a black jacket, grey trousers and a black baseball hat.

The second suspect is white, slim build, around 5’8” with a beard. He was wearing a white T-shirt, black knee length shorts, white trainers and a black baseball cap with a red stripe to side and emblem.

The third man involved is white, slim build, 6’ with a beard. He was wearing a bright blue long-sleeved T-shirt, black shorts, white trainers and a black baseball cap with a red stripe to side and emblem.

In the Carmarthen incident, the three men were wearing light coloured clothing, shorts, trainers and baseball caps.

DI Wayne Bevan said: “Anyone who witnessed either of these incidents, or saw three men matching these descriptions behaving suspiciously in the area, to contact police immediately by calling 101.

“We are investigating all lines of enquiry to catch these offenders and any support from the public could help us find these men and put a stop to any further incidents in our town centre stores.”

Anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to report it by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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Consultation on future of gas network for west Wales enters final week

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PEOPLE from west Wales are being urged to have their say as a public consultation on the future of the local gas network is set to close on Friday (Aug 17).

Wales & West Utilities look after the pipes that bring gas to homes and businesses across Wales and the south west of England. The company has received almost 20,000 responses to its consultation but is now urging as many people as possible to take two minutes to pipe up and shape its plans for the future. Everyone who completes the consultation will be entered into a weekly draw to win a £100 Amazon Gift Card.

The company is asking people to give their views on issues such as the gas emergency service, investment to keep the gas network safe and reliable and how it supports those most in need. It is also seeking views on preparing the gas network for a greener future, making sure it can continue to deliver essential services for generations to come.

Wales & West Utilities charge for their services through consumer gas bills. Currently, their services make up 20% of an annual gas bill – so for the average gas bill of £630, that’s £128 a year – or 35 pence per day.

Graham Edwards, Chief Executive at Wales & West Utilities, explains: “The pipes we look after are mostly underground and out of mind, but we provide an essential service in keeping people safe and warm in their homes and powering businesses. Now, as we plan for the future, we want as many people in West Wales as possible to have their say on the future of their gas network and the services we provide.”

“This consultation is about ensuring our customers’ views are heard so that we plan and work towards getting the balance right between investing to maintain and improve our services and preparing the gas network for the future, while keeping bills low.

“We understand the financial pressure households across the area are under and we remain committed to keeping our portion of the gas bill to a minimum – we have already reduced the cost of our services since 2013 from £145 to £128 today.

“We’re looking forward to hearing customer feedback from West Wales as this will play a vital role in shaping our business for the future.”

Wales & West Utilities also connects around 11,000 homes and businesses to the network each year. And, for customers in need of extra support, the company has a scheme offering low-cost gas connections and financial help for appliance repairs. There is also a priority register to make sure people in vulnerable situations are prioritised when things go wrong.

To have your say on the future of your gas network and the services Wales & West Utilities provides please go to PipeUpOnline.co.uk or Facebook.com/wwutilities and be in with a chance to win a £100 Amazon.co.uk Gift Card.

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Police appeal following shed burglary

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POLICE are investigating a report of a burglary which occurred in Heol Westfa, Felinfoel, Llanelli sometime between 10.30pm on Friday (Aug 3) and 6am on Saturday (Aug 4).

A number of items were stolen from a shed at the property. They include:

  • a black and decker work bench in grey, with distinctive marks
  • a 50 m extension lead black and red
  • a grey Trojan electric sander
  • a black and decker power hammer drill in a grey hard box
  • a rechargeable black and decker power drill and screw driver, the drlll was black and red in a green hard box
  • a black and red carry box in plastic containing several screw drivers, and other manual tools
  • a black and decker green hedge trimmer 60cm in a black sleeve,
  • a bosch power saw in a hard blue box.

Anyone who has been offered the opportunity to purchase these items or anyone with information that can help officers with their investigation is asked to contact police by calling 101.

If you are Deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908.

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