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AM challenges council to step up a gear

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Screen Shot 2016-08-25 at 10.22.56LLANELLI AM Lee Waters is calling on Carmarthenshire County Council to change its approach to encouraging people to travel under their own steam. 

Lee led the campaign for Wales to pass the ground-breaking Active Travel Act in 2011. The new law is the first of its kind in the world and requires Welsh Councils to provide routes for people to walk and cycle.

“20% of the journeys we make by car are for distances of under a mile; trips that a generation ago were routinely made by foot or on bike,” the Llanelli AM explained. “But we’ve become stuck in the habit of using the car more and more, and we’re storing up huge problems for ourselves – it is no accident that Wales has some of the highest levels of childhood obesity in the world.”

The AM met with Llanelli-based campaigners from the Carmarthenshire Cycling Campaign to discuss how the new law is being implemented locally.

After the meeting Lee Waters said: “This is not about sports cycling and wearing lycra; the purpose of the Active Travel Act is to make it easy for people to make everyday journeys by bike or on foot. What needs to change to get more people to consider swapping a short car trip for a bike ride, as we used to and many still do. The evidence suggests we need to alter the road layout to make people feel safer as well as encouraging more people to alter their habits.

“Our priority should be on linking the places we travel to for everyday journeys with well designed routes. I think Carmarthenshire Council are prioritising the wrong projects; we should be tackling the problem of car use for the school run, instead of spending hundreds of thousands on new paths alongside the main road from Llanegenech to Dafen, or an elite racing track in Pembrey.”

The AM is supporting the ‘Give us 5 miles’ campaign, being championed by the Carmarthenshire Cycling Forum.

Spokesman Phil Snaith said after the meeting with the Llanelli AM: “The built up area of Llanelli is predominantly flat and compact with around 40,000 people within two square miles. With some existing high-quality cycle routes around the town, there is already something of a cycling ‘culture’ and it is rare to visit the town and its centre without seeing a cyclist. The town centre needs more people, and improved walking and cycling links would provide these and the additional spend these groups bring. Studies have shown that improved walking and cycling can boost footfall and trading in town centres by as much as 40%.

“The County Council’s highest priority for investment within Carmarthenshire should be a cycling network for Llanelli. Llanelli already has over six miles of good quality cycleways but these are almost all peripheral to the town. We have set out a plan for seven new links to connect the whole built up area of Llanelli – and only one would need to be a completely new section of path, and the remaining six need footpath conversion or widening.”

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Shock in Carmarthenshire as it’s named as one of the top locations for most reckless young drivers in UK

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CARMARTHENSHIRE has landed some unwanted publicity after being named as home to some of the most reckless young drivers in the UK.

According to comprehensive analysis by Adrian Flux, the county is one of the areas with the speediest teenagers on the road. On average 87.1% of FluxScore users there will receive a serious warning about their speeding compared to less than one in five in Conwy (17%).

The warnings are triggered by a black box that sits in the driver’s car to monitor their performance in the hope of improving safety and saving them money.

“This gamification style approach has helped sensible drivers save up to 60% for year-long safe driving upon renewal,” said Scott Goodliffe at Adrian Flux, one of the UK’s largest specialist motor insurance brokers.

“Unfortunately, some users are less attentive or cautious and their behaviour is a cause for concern because it leaves them more likely to make a claim or hurt themselves or others.

“It’s disappointing when alerts have to be sent but we’re proud that they are helping to change behaviour behind the wheel. We already know FluxScore is reducing the number of speeders across the board by 70% and hopefully this analysis will help address the small number who negatively impact these already impressive figures slightly.”

There are also considerable concerns about how quickly youngsters are travelling in Rhondda Cynon Taf with the area also being named and shamed in the top 10. It’s a much better picture in Conwy though with youngsters there being rated amongst the most careful drivers in the UK.

Adrian Flux’s self-fitting black box sits on the inside of the windscreen and tracks journeys. It helps reward safe driving by providing daily updates on the FluxScore app to show how the previous 24 hours’ driving has affected a driver’s renewal premium.

FluxScore sends alerts to drivers who it deems as driving dangerously or above the speed limit. The findings focus on Alert 2s, which are considered serious speeding events and take into account other factors such as the type of road. If a driver receives three Alert 2s, this will result in their policy being suspended.

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Local specialist contractors needed for countryside works

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CARMARTHENSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL is seeking local specialist countryside contractors for work on Public Rights of Way and conservation sites throughout the county.

Businesses in Carmarthenshire are being encouraged to tender for the countywide framework, which is for two years, starting in September with an option to extend for a further two years.

The work will include the management of nature reserves, mitigation for development and government funded habitat projects on sites with challenging conditions, ecological constraints, wet land and difficult access.

Examples of the work include path maintenance, installation of countryside furniture (stiles and gates), mowing overgrown fields, chainsaw and strimmer work, excavator work, woodland management, fencing and tree planting.

A proven track record and a good understanding of working in the rural and natural environment and knowledge of conservation is essential, as is an understanding of the way that the land changes in challenging weather conditions.

Applicants will need to make available vehicle inspection documents and maintenance records, certificates of operator competency (in relation to plant hire with operatives), health and safety policy and relevant insurance documents.

Any suppliers interested in tendering for this work need to be registered on the National Procurement Portal Sell2Wales website, where they can express their interest and receive further information.

This is a free online service and allows businesses to promote their organisation not only to the council but to other Welsh public sector bodies, and to receive notifications about contract opportunities suitable to their field of work.

The council also encourages businesses to register on the Business Wales Business Directory – a free resource where businesses can advertise their services.

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Police appeal for information after vehicle collides with two pedestrians

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POLICE say they are appealing for witnesses following a road traffic collision which occurred on College Street, Newcastle Emlyn just after 4pm on Monday 20th June.

A black coloured Honda CRV vehicle collided with two people on the pedestrian crossing.

A 70-year-old female sustained serious injuries and was airlifted to hospital.

A 50-year-old female was taken to hospital by ambulance with what are described as minor injuries

The 64 year old female driver of the vehicle was arrested on suspicion of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and has been released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Anyone who witnessed the incident, or has information that could help officers with their investigation, or anyone who was driving in the area at the time and has dashcam footage, is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at: https://bit.ly/DPPContactOnline, by emailing 101@dyfed-powys.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-20220620-283.”

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