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Does Parc Trostre need a railway station?

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A PETITION has been launched to encourage the creation of a railway station at Parc Trostre – something which it is claimed could help everything from match-day congestion to pollution on Sandy Road.

Parc Trostre, home to a large retail park and near the Scarlets’ ground, can at present only be accessed by road. On match days there have been numerous complaints from residents in the surrounding area about fans parking their cars in residential streets and causing traffic chaos.

The petition, which already has almost 200 signatures, says that Wales has a ‘truly enormous’ transport network which has not moved with the times, and changed to suit the rapid demand and increased population growth.

“We feel there should be changes made not only to the rail network, but to the bus, and road systems to ease congestion and enable safer, simpler commutes for passengers,” it adds.

“We propose to come up with different ways and suggestions to change the transport network in Carmarthenshire – be it the bus, road or rail network. We the people use the network, so we the people should have our say. The lack of busses and trains often leaves communities isolated and closed off for those who don’t drive.

“This petition aims to look at creating a Parc Trostre Railway Station, which would assist in solving the already apparent problem with parking and congestion, enabling staff and employees to commute easier and from further afield and encourage growth and stability to a massively popular retail park. Rugby and sport fans can also make use of the railway station, by travelling in from afar for games and matches at the iconic Parc y Scarlets Stadium.

“Llanelli is Carmarthenshire’s Largest town with a rapidly growing population of over 49,000 people! Parc Trostre Retail park is a bustling modern retail park with an already apparent parking and congestion problem. The bus network to the park is poor, and really only serves Llanelli and Swansea directions.

“We feel, a railway station at track level underneath the Piano Bridge on Lower Trostre Road would be a real tangible suggestion to serve the retail park and Morfa areas of Llanelli. It’s a 30 minute walk from Llanelli Train Station to Trostre. Imagine that for employees, walking in the dark, in the winter to catch a train to Kidwelly, Burry Port, Carmarthen etc (busses after about 18:30 are non existent in that direction)… The current rail station does NOT cater for the out of town shopping areas and sports stadium.

“Our Rail timetable is already relatively good, with some of the earliest of trains starting at 04:55 (Carmarthen to Llanelli) and the latest of trains at around 23:35 (Llanelli to Carmarthen) The busses just don’t do this – and don’t operate at these times! This makes employees who don’t drive in Trostre’s life’s impossible – unless there willing to brave the walk from the existing train station to Trostre, or finish around the time of a bus!

“This would be a safer, simpler way of travel for employees, punters and sports fans, who could walk over to piano bridge, down steps, and onto the platform. It doesn’t need to be anything special – just a concrete platform, some shelters and some lights! The line already runs past Trostre, so why not make the most of it!

“We are confident this would somewhat aid congestion on the Sandy Road, as commuters could be encouraged to catch the train too.

“We call on isolated employees, frustrated drivers, sports fans and anyone interested in the economic growth of Llanelli to sign this petition. We are confident this would be a relatively low investment for the rail operating companies with a high return on passenger journeys.”

The petition coincides with increased interest in public transport provision in the area, following the launch of Professor Barry’s proposal for a Swansea Bay Metro last year. A map of these plans shows that Trostre would be considered as a stop on two of the lines.

However, it is worth noting that even if the £1bn plans were approved, it would be at least a decade before work were completed.

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Education

St. Michaels School celebrates excellent A-Level results

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St. Michael’s pupils with their A-Level results

ST. MICHAEL’S School, Llanelli, is extremely pleased to announce another year of successful A-Level results, with 80.2% of all grades awarded either an A* or A grade.

The vast majority of pupils have earned a place at their chosen university to study courses such as Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Economics.

This is the first year that traditional exams have resumed since the Covid-19 pandemic began with the majority of lessons in the first part of the A-Level being delivered online rather than in a classroom environment. This makes the results even more of an achievement considering the circumstances.

Headmaster Mr Benson Ferrari said: “We offer our sincere congratulations to our outgoing Year 13 class on the publication of their A-Level results, demonstrating that our pupils have worked so hard despite the challenges of returning to a conventional assessment approach.

“They approached the situation with resilience and dedication, which has resulted in grades that are truly representative of their ability.  I am confident that they will all go onto achieve great things at university and in their working lives.  

“We wish them the best as they move to this new and exciting stage of their education.  The preparation which St. Michael’s has provided will be built upon, along with our values and principles providing a lasting framework to tackle the challenges ahead.”

In 2020, St. Michael’s School was awarded The Sunday Times Welsh Independent School of the Decade and this was in part due to the excellent exam results that the school receives each year. 

St. Michael’s was also ranked 13th in The Times 2019 Co Ed League Table for UK Independent Schools, which was the last time that the results were published. The school hopes that this year’s results will continue to secure their place in the 2022 league table which will be published later this year.

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New ward extension opens at Werndale Hospital

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WERNDALE Hospital opens its £1millon ward extension, featuring a suite of new spacious patient en-suite rooms and additional light and airy ward space for new nurses’ stations, new technology and medical equipment, in pleasant and comfortable spaces. 

Werndale is part of Circle Health Group, the UK’s largest provider of private healthcare. The group is carrying out a £125 million redevelopment programme across its 50 hospitals in the UK.

Werndale has a strong history in the village of Bancyfelin, where is has been serving the local communities of Wales for over 32 years.

James Davies, Wales and Scarlets rugby player, from Bancyfelin, cut the ribbon to mark the official opening on Monday 1st August. His nickname “Cubby”, is reference to his brother’s nickname, “Fox”; this refers to the Fox & Hounds pub their parents ran in Bancyfelin, the village where they grew up. Staff and consultants were given the chance to view the new extension, with a small gathering to mark the occasion and celebrate all the hard work that has gone into this project over the last 12 months.

Jacky Jones, Executive Director of Werndale Hospital said: “The investment programme is an exciting opportunity to expand what we can offer to patients at Werndale. Our staff and consultants are delighted with this expansion which will allow us to meet the private healthcare needs of patients and families in Wales and will decrease waiting times which will positively impact the patient’s experience. Having the new patient rooms here increases our ward capacity by 20%, it is a great investment”.

Gaynor Llewellyn, Director of Clinical Services said: “At Werndale we are committed to continuous improvement of clinical facilities and services. We continually invest in the hospital so that we can offer our patients and consultants reassurance when they visit us for treatments”.

Werndale Hospital is seeing increased demand for its services across all specialities particularly orthopaedic surgery, ophthalmology, and general surgery. Nearly 4,000 patients had surgery at Werndale Hospital, Bancyfelin during 2021 and the new investment will enable ward capacity to be increased by 25 per cent.

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M4 closed westbound following lorry fire near Swansea

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A SECTION of the M4 near Swansea was shut on Monday (Aug 8) due to a vehicle fire.

The westbound section of the motorway, between junction 47 at Penllergaer and junction 48 at Hendy closed.

Emergency services were called to the scene, and there was queuing traffic in the area.

Traffic monitoring service Inrix reported: “M4 Westbound closed, queueing traffic due to vehicle fire between J47 A48 (Penllergaer / Swansea West Services) and J48 A4138 Pontardulais Road”

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