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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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Wales completes move to alert level 0

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THE MOVE completes the Welsh Government’s phased lifting of the alert level 2 protections, which were put in place on Boxing Day to keep Wales safe as the omicron wave swept across the country.

Some important protections will remain in place at alert level 0, including mandatory face coverings in most indoor public places, including on public transport.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said the relaxation of protections was possible thanks to the hard work of everyone in Wales and the success of the vaccination programme – more than 1.8 million booster doses have been given.

And, since the start of December, more than 36,000 people have come forward to have their first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine.

First Minister Mark Drakeford said: “We have passed the peak of this omicron wave and there are encouraging signs that cases of coronavirus may be starting to stabilise. But we all need to continue taking steps to stay safe – unfortunately the pandemic is not over yet.

“We are moving to alert level 0 and we will retain some important protections, such as face coverings in most indoor public places and risk assessments.

“We can do this thanks to the hard work and efforts of everyone in Wales and the remarkable success of our vaccine and booster programmes. Thank you all.”

On Friday 28 January, Wales will complete the move to alert level 0. This means:

  • Nightclubs can re-open.
  • The general requirement of 2m social distancing in all premises open to the public and workplaces will be removed.
  • The rule of six will no longer apply to gatherings in regulated premises, such as hospitality, cinemas and theatres.
  • Licensed premises will no longer need to only provide table service and collect contact details. The Covid Pass will continue to be required to enter larger indoor events, nightclubs, cinemas, theatres and concert halls.
  • Working from home will remain important but it will no longer be a legal requirement.
  • Businesses, employers and other organisations must continue to undertake a specific coronavirus risk assessment and take reasonable measures to minimise the spread of coronavirus, which may include 2m social distancing or controlled entry.

Face-covering rules, which apply on public transport and in most public indoor places will remain in force after 28 January, with the exception of hospitality settings such as restaurants, pubs, cafes and nightclubs.

Everyone must also continue to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus but the Welsh Government has reduced the self-isolation period from seven to 5 full days.

People are advised to take 2 negative lateral flow tests 24 hours apart on days 5 and 6. The self-isolation support scheme payment will return to the original rate of £500 for all those who are eligible.

The next 3-weekly review of the coronavirus regulations will be carried out by 10 February, when all the measures at alert level 0 will be reviewed.

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Police investigating suspicious fire at Vodafone mast tower in Llanelli

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DYFED-POWYS POLICE are investigating a fire which caused significant damage to a service room at the Vodafone mast tower in Bigyn Road, Llanelli.  

The fire, which is being treated as suspicious, happened sometime between 10pm on Monday 24th and 2.30am on Tuesday 25th January 2022.

No-one was injured in the fire.

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation, or anyone who has CCTV or dash cam footage of the area at the time. is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101.

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

Quote reference: DP-20220125-075.

Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.

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Denial of Wales-specific Covid inquiry ‘no longer tenable’ say Welsh Conservatives

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THE WELSH CONSERVATIVES have reiterated their call for an inquiry that focuses exclusively on the actions of the Welsh Government in tackling coronavirus in a letter to the First Minister.

It was prompted after it was revealed that the Welsh Government have been aware that NHS Wales was not prepared for an airborne virus as far back as 2004, following the SARS outbreak. Despite committing to an audit and allocation to rectify the lack of isolation facilities, this did not materialise.

The letter from Andrew RT Davies MS, which states “decision made in Wales should be scrutinised in Wales” follows a weekend when Mark Drakeford was keen to highlight that his government had “always taken a different approach in Wales [compared to the British Government], one that does things step-by-step”.

Concerned: Andrew RT Davies

In the letter, the Welsh Conservatives leader questions why, despite him stressing divergences in the approach to coronavirus, the First Minister still feels it “inappropriate to separate” from the British Government “when the time comes for accountability”.

The Labour Government policy is for its actions to be included in the UK-wide inquiry that will chiefly investigate the actions of the Conservative Government. There will be a Scotland-specific inquiry after Nicola Sturgeon commissioned one.

Joining the Welsh Conservatives in their calls for a Wales-specific inquiry are the Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Group, the British Lung Foundation, Medics 4 Mask Up Wales, the Institute for Welsh Affairs, and Plaid Cymru.

Commenting on the letter, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “The position of exercising wide-ranging emergency powers that curtailed the liberty and closed the economy of the Welsh people but avoiding accountability through an inquiry that focusses on how those decisions were made is no longer tenable.

“Under Mark Drakeford, Wales has experienced the highest Covid death-rate of UK nations, seen its children lose more time for learning than anywhere else in the country, and imposed economically cruel and clinically unnecessary restrictions in an overzealous attempt to tackle the Omicron variant.

“We, along with bereaved families and medical groups, believe that the decisions that led to these outcomes need to be put under the spotlight, not hidden in the shadow of an inquiry that will inevitably focus on the British Government.

“Indeed, if Mark Drakeford is so confident in the actions of his government, then why is he against having them examined in a Wales-specific inquiry? That is what people will be asking when British and Scottish leaders have ordered investigations into their own handling of the pandemic.

“As I say to the First Minister in my letter, it is not too late for him to change his mind and take this opportunity to do the right thing and order that inquiry.”

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