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New refuse lorries are ready to hit the streets

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New refuse recycling vehicles, Festival Fields, Llanelli

New refuse recycling vehicles, Festival Fields, Llanelli

A NEW fleet of refuse collection vehicles will soon be hitting the streets of Carmarthenshire.

The council has taken delivery of 28 new lorries; costing around £4million, including 18 26 tonne Mercedes-Benz and 10 15 tonne DAF trucks with NTM bodies.

The vehicles will provide a more efficient service to residents and help to increase the county’s recycling rate.

They have a separate compartment to keep food waste separate from blue/black bags.

The vehicles were officially handed over at Llanelli’s Festival Fields with a very special guest, Welsh rugby legend Sir Gareth Edwards CBE.

Sir Gareth, a director with Euro Commercials (South Wales) Ltd, said: “Having come from West Wales it’s great to see such investment in the serious logistics of waste. The council is really demonstrating the ability to deliver a first class waste management programme, with some of the latest cutting-edge technology and innovation from Mercedes Benz trucks.”

Euro Commercials truck sales manager Nathan Black said: “The new Euro VI Mercedes-Benz Econic 2630L 6X2 refuse vehicles are rear-steer models; and the rear steer action and 360° on board CCTV gives them increase manoeuvrability, allowing them to access even the most hard to reach places.

“All vehicles ride on full air suspension, with split-compartment NTM bodies that mean they can be used to collect recyclable waste – paper, plastic and food for example – thereby securing operational savings.”

Euro Commercials managing director Jeff Carne added: “It’s always encouraging to be given the opportunity to partner our local authorities, but to be able to provide the Mercedes brand and the after-sales service excellence that Euro Commercials continue to deliver is very exciting. We’re confident that the new fleet will exceed the council’s expectations in terms of reliability and fuel-efficiency.”

Gareth Rees from Watts Truck & Van Swansea said: “Watts Truck & Van Swansea and DAF are very proud to have supplied the council with 10 new 15 tonne refuse collection vehicles. These 15 tonne smaller vehicles have Allison automatic gearboxes and drive very much like a car, they are very manoeuvrable and have a good turning circle, which makes them ideal.”

Both vehicles have NTM bodies attached, managing director Paul Westley said: “NTM GB Ltd is delighted to work in partnership with Carmarthenshire County Council and we have worked very closely with the authority giving vehicle options and demonstrations to trial and evaluate. The 26t KGH-FK pod system along with our 15t K-Maxi –FK pod options gave the authority a balance of payload and accessibility for all areas, working very closely with Euro Commercials of (Mercedes Benz) and Watts Trucks of (DAF) NTM were able to achieve these vehicle options. Our NTM designed FK pod systems gives maximum volumes which mirrors with the body shape minimising wasting space.”

The vehicles will be phased in from the week beginning October 31; and coincides with changes to refuse collection routes across the county.

The aim is to make the routes more effective, and residents affected by changes to their collection days will have received a letter.

Council Leader Emlyn Dole said: “It was very impressive to see the new vehicles all lined up ready to go. They are equipped with all the latest technology; they are more fuel-efficient and environmentally-friendly, helping to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans added: “The new vehicles, together with the new routes, will result in an improved service for residents, and help us to recycle even more.”

New refuse recycling vehicles, Festival Fields, Llanelli

New refuse recycling vehicles, Festival Fields, Llanelli

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Warning of serious disruption on M4 and M5 today due to fuel prices protest

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POLICE have warned of “serious disruption” to drivers using the M4 and M5 on Monday 4 July due to a planned protest.

Protesters intend to block the Prince of Wales Bridge from 7am until 7pm as part of a nationwide campaign against rising fuel prices.

The protest is due to start at the M4 Magor services at junction 23A eastbound and the Clevedon Interchange at junction 20 of the M5 westbound.

It is also expected to cause disruption to the M48 Severn Bridge and the M32.

Drivers are being urged to avoid the area or plan alternative routes.

Bristol Airport has issued a warning urging travellers to allow extra time if heading to or from the airport.

Police said additional officers will be brought in to ensure the protest is carried out legally.

Drivers have been advised by Gwent Police to work from home where possible and avoid the area between 7am and 7pm, with protestors planning to block parts of the road between M4 Magor services, junction 23A eastbound, and Junction 20 of the M4 between those hours.

Chief Superintendent Tom Harding said: “Gwent Police, and Avon and Somerset Police, are working jointly with neighbouring police forces and partner agencies to ensure emergency and critical services continue and to reduce disruption to both road users and local communities, however we are preparing for serious disruption throughout the day.

“I would encourage drivers to reconsider their journey, consider working from home and avoid the area where possible.

“The right to protest under UK law must be balanced with the rights of the wider community who may be affected. We have additional officers and support in place on Monday to ensure the protest is carried out in accordance with the law.”

The planned protest is thought to have been organised by the Facebook group Fuel Price Stand Against Tax, and has attracted both criticism and support online.

The latest travel disruption comes following the closure of the Severn Bridge for a second consecutive weekend, as well as the Severn Tunnel rain line which will be out of use until July 10 due to essential work. Motorists will be unable to cross the M48 Severn Bridge until 6am on Monday as it is undergoing essential work for eight months.

The bridge was first shut last weekend as painstaking work to repair and replace corroded suspension cables began. Traffic on the bridge is likely to be very heavy on Monday due to the fuel protest.

Police have told protesters banners must be tightly secured to vehicles and nobody should be walking around on the bridge during the demonstration. Protesters will stay inside their vehicles or stand beside them.

An organiser said: “We will now only be doing it on the Prince of Wales Bridge. We have to keep in mind everyone’s safety and if we block the bridge totally and there is an emergency there would be hell. Yes it means only one bridge but [due to the amount of traffic caused] there will still be a massive impact.”

Two weeks ago one of the initial M4 bridge protest organisers Ashley Fowler said : “We’re all car enthusiasts and we have all been worried about fuel prices and when I saw the post about blocking the bridges we began talking about it. Then people started asking me to make an event so we could update each other.

“I made the event because I run a car club in Cardiff which I started on social media during the pandemic lockdowns to help people’s mental health. When we can we go out to car parks and just meet up and have a chat but during the pandemic we weren’t able to do it so I made the group.

“Now we can’t meet up so much again because of the cost of fuel. I know some of them can’t drive so much because they need to feed their kids. It’s serious. People are getting really depressed about it. One of the boys in the group has actually sold his car due to fuel price rises.”

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Business

Ascona Group announces new Car and Truck wash facilities

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Charlie's Truck Wash

ASCONA GROUP, one of the UK’s fastest-growing forecourt operators, is pleased to announce two new vehicle washing partnerships as part of improvements to its unique roadside retail proposition across its forecourt estate.

As part of a new partnership with the American based PDQ Manufacturing, a leader for in-bay automatic vehicle washing facilities, Ascona Group will be the first in the UK to install the ‘Laserwash 360 Plus’, a touchless car wash system for its customers.

The partnership will initially expand the wash options at the Hinton Service Station, with a view to roll out the system to other sites under the Ascona Group’s brand, ‘Charlie’s Express Car Wash’ later this year. The partnership is a significant investment for Ascona and demonstrates its commitment to ever improving the experience for customers.

Ascona Group is also delighted to announce a strategic partnership with WashTec UK that will see Ascona introduce a ‘First of its Kind’ truck washing facility at the Tenby Road site on the A40 Eastbound in Carmarthenshire, which offers the very best technology available to HGV drivers.

The truck wash employs a fully ‘closed loop’ total water recycling system, the first of its kind in Wales, which recovers all water used within the wash process, filtering it for reuse with little or no water entering the mains drainage system. This system ensures Ascona not only has the best commercial wash in South Wales, but also offers customers one of the more environmentally friendly approaches in operation.

Commenting on the announcement, CEO Darren Briggs said: “From the very beginning, we knew that our sites must present our customers with a unique and compelling offer which is why we are constantly seeking new and innovative ways to improve our roadside retail facilities.

“These two new partnerships further demonstrate our focus on creating industry-leading propositions and we are really excited to be working with PDQ Manufacturing USA and WashTec UK. Together, we are keen to continue to build on the success of these new operations and we are actively reviewing multiple opportunities across the Ascona portfolio to roll out more units such as these.”

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Community

Nearly £50,000 of National Lottery funding for community groups in Carmarthenshire

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FIVE local community organisations across Carmarthenshire are celebrating after being awarded a share of £49,575 of funding from The National Lottery Community Fund over the past month.

One successful project was MolTân Makers who will use their £9,820 grant to provide metal working workshops for people wishing to improve their mental health and well-being. The group will reach out to mental health groups and the wider community and also allow people to reconnect with the community following the pandemic.

One participant with MolTân Makers explained, “ The course was professionally run by four hard-working people who helped us with one to one tuition when needed. They were so welcoming and adaptable to individual needs and allowed me to attend the course at different hours due to health reasons.

“They were great company and created an interesting and positive atmosphere to help people with mental and physical health problems feel included and understood and we all took home what we made in the course.”

The Hangout received £10,000 and will help young people improve their mental health and wellbeing through structured outdoor activity programmes. The project will build on a previous pilot project that led to more young people becoming re-engaged in school following the pandemic and continuing to volunteer with the group after the initial sessions finished.

The Alternative Learning Company in Llanelli were awarded £9,955 and will recycle plastic bottles to build full size greenhouses. They will propagate plants for growing schemes in local schools and communities. The project will reduce the levels of plastic sent to landfill or polluting open spaces, and give young people an understanding of the impact of climate change.

Newcastle Emlyn Town Council will build an outdoor structure in collaboration with the community, to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Jubilee. This £10,000 grant will fund building and design materials, and a water harvesting kit.

Messy Projects will use their £9,800 grant to run the activities and events they missed due to the pandemic. Activities will include celebrating the Queens platinum jubilee, a BBQ, and a Bonfire party.

John Rose, Wales Director at The National Lottery Community Fund, said “These groups play a vital role in supporting their communities and these grants will allow them to continue being there for people in future. 

 ”National Lottery players raise more than £30 million each week for good causes across the UK and the projects funded over the past month show the crucial difference players make through their tickets. I look forward to following all of their progress.”  

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