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Gritting lorry experience makes teenager’s wish come true



CARMARTHENSHIRE County Council’s highways team have made a Carmarthen teenager’s wish come true, giving her a chance to ride in one of its gritting lorries.

Fifteen-year-old Ashleigh Harrison, of Johnstown, loves to see the gritting crews pass her front room window when they are dispatched from the nearby depot to treat county highways ahead of freezing weather conditions.

Ashleigh, a pupil of QE High School’s Canolfan Elfed inclusion centre for children with additional needs, keeps an eye on weather forecasts and waits to see the crews pass by with their flashing orange lights.

Her older brother Elliott wrote to the council to ask if he could arrange for his sister to visit, saying the experience would be a dream come true.

During her visit to the Cillefwr Depot, Ashleigh had the chance to sit in the cab and ride around the yard, saw the huge mound of salt and grit in the barn, see the equipment used to load the gritters and saw all the lorries parked in the yard ready for action.

She was also presented with giant soft toy bunny, complete with high-visibility jacket, as a memento of her visit.

Ashleigh’s mother Helen said her daughter was ‘over the moon’ and thanked the council for making it happen.

“She was a big gritter fan before – now she is a huge gritter fan,” she said.

“To say she was over the moon is an understatement, she loved every minute of it and loves her rabbit who she has called Gary.”

Her brother Elliott added: “I sent the email but didn’t think it would get anywhere, and we were chuffed when the manager got in touch to say they could arrange a visit.

“She loves seeing the gritters pass our house. This is all she’s going to talk about for months and she’ll tell everyone at school about it.”

Carmarthenshire County Council has a fleet of 21 winter maintenance lorries that treat around a third of the county’s 3,526 kilometres of highway within three hours of a bad weather warning.

Around 14,000 tonnes of salt is kept in stock, used when forecasts show road surface temperatures could drop to freezing point.

Cllr Hazel Evans, Executive Board Member for Environment, said: “We were so pleased to be able to make Ashleigh’s dream come true. Our staff were delighted to meet Ashleigh and her family and had great pleasure showing her around the depot and the gritting lorries. I’d like to thank everyone who helped make this happen.”


Cold temperatures likely to lead to icy conditions



A YELLOW weather warning is in place over Wales from 10pm tonight (Jan 16) and 11am tomorrow morning (Jan 17).

As temperatures drop, there is a strong chance of ice patches causing dangerous conditions for motorists.

Icy patches developing with wintry showers also affecting some areas.

What to expect

  • Some injuries from slips and falls on icy surfaces
  • Probably some ice on some untreated roads, pavements and cycle paths
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Next stage of works to clear Cwmduad landslide



PHASE two of the works to stabilise a landslide in Cwmduad has begun following the recovery of a lorry from the river below.

Carmarthenshire County Council is leading the operation to clear the site and re-open the A484 for traffic travelling between Carmarthen and Newcastle Emlyn, following the landslide in October.

Phase one, which commenced before Christmas, created a safe zone for the recovery of a lorry that was swept in to the river during the storm.

That recovery took place earlier today (Monday, January 14, 2019).

Phase two, to permanently stabilise the embankment, involves complex drainage and geotechnical works.

The highway structure will then be assessed before any indication can be given as to when the road will re-open.

The council has thanked the community, and affected commuters, for their patience whilst site assessments and works have been underway.

Ruth Mullen, Director of Environment for Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “We are now making progress in what has been a highly complex operation and legal process between the council, partner agencies and the landowner.

“We fully appreciate the impact this has had on the community, and we wish to reiterate that we have worked without delay to undertake site investigations in the immediate aftermath of the landslide, along with clearance and construction works to make the area safe.

“We are working as quickly as we can to re-open the road as soon as possible, and would like to thank those affected most sincerely for their patience.”

Until the road is re-opened, traffic will continue to be diverted along the B4333 Carmarthen – Newcastle Emlyn.

Additional bus services remain in place:

  • A shuttle service currently runs from Cwmduad to Tycoch to catch the 460 service at 7.25am, 9.35am and 10.55am. Return journeys are at 2.25pm and 4.45pm.
  • The 460 service is currently operating on a diversion route
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Three seriously injured in A40 crash



DYFED-POWYS POLICE is appealing for information about a collision which resulted in serious injuries.

The collision which happened on Sunday afternoon (Jan 13) involved a silver Ford Fiesta and a Silver BMW 120 and at approximately 4pm on the A40 between Pont-y-fenny and Whitland roundabout.

The Silver Fiesta was travelling towards Whitland and the BMW was travelling towards Carmarthen.

A 67-year-old woman has been taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.

A 71-year-old man and a 68-year-old woman were also taken to hospital suffering serious injuries.

Anyone who witnessed the collision, or was driving along the road around the time or with dash cam footage, is asked to contact the Serious Collision Investigation Unit by calling 101.

If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, please text 07811311908. Please quote reference DP-20190113-199.

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