Cycle Medics Gear-up for Gwent

Emergency healthcare response in Gwent is about to receive a boost – and an environmentally friendly one at that. Following on from its launch in Cardiff and Vale, the Welsh Ambulance Service this week unveiled its new Cycle Response Unit bikes for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board (ABUHB) area.

On Friday at The Bike Shed store in Pontcanna, Cardiff, four new specially made bicycles were handed over to the ambulance service and will at first be utilised on the streets of Newport. After initial research work with London Ambulance Service, who have 20 years’ experience of cycle response, local business The Bike Shed were drafted in to work on the perfect bike design to accommodate the 52kg load of equipment they will carry – the same as that in rapid response ambulance car.

Darren Panniers, Ambulance Operations Manager for the Aneurin Bevan University Health Board area, welcomed the project by saying: “We are thrilled to take delivery of the new bikes and once deployed will be a great asset.

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660 Bikes Distributed as Part of Cardiff's Schools Bike Fleet Scheme

A scheme to encourage children and young people to take up cycling and promote active travel, will see 660 bikes delivered to schools across Cardiff by the end of the month.

The School's Bike Fleet scheme provides schools with a fleet of bikes for pupils to use in school for the delivery of cycle training.Funded by Welsh Government, the scheme is a partnership project between Cardiff Council, Welsh Cycling and British Cycling.

Cllr Caro Wild, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport said, "The Schools Bike Scheme will aim to increase the number of children taking part in cycling by embedding it into school's curriculum.

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Drug Driving Arrests Rise as Police Crack Down on Dangerous Drivers

Dyfed-Powys Police has revealed that its Roads Policing Unit officers arrested 20 people on suspicion of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol over a three day period, Friday, 25 September -Sunday, 27 September.

Breaking the figures down, the force says 11 of the people arrested were suspected to have illegal substances in their system at the time of driving, while nine were suspected to be over the alcohol limit.

Inspector for Specialist Operations Andy Williams said, “Unfortunately, we have seen a dramatic rise in arrests over the past 12 months, with the number of drug driving incidents surpassing drink driving.

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World’s First Assisted Driving Grading Unveiled

Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP have launched brand-new Assisted Driving assessments to give motorists the crucial insight they need to understand how to use today’s assisted driving technology safely.

Many new vehicles feature assisted driving systems that have been developed to support the driver. However, there is significant potential for carmakers to overstate the capability of their current assisted driving technology and for motorists to misuse it. Confusion around the limitations of these systems has resulted in serious road collisions – and deaths.

Thatcham Research and Euro NCAP have therefore stepped in to bring much-needed clarity and understanding, via the new Assisted Driving Grading.

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More Improvements to Roads in Swansea

Roads in a Swansea are getting the PATCH treatment to help repair large sections of road surface which have deteriorated.

The Priority Action Team for Community Highways (PATCH) is part of Swansea Council's annual highway maintenance programme and involves maintenance teams visiting each ward in the city for up to two weeks, repairing sections of road which have been identified as needing an upgrade.

The PATCH initiative has been operating in Swansea for a number of years and this year the Council has set aside £720k to roll out the programme across the city.

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Roads Enforcement and Safety Survey

The UK Government is currently reviewing roads policing, and what the future of traffic law enforcement may look like.

The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners is keen to hear your views and you are invited to complete a short survey to help inform the Police and Crime Commissioners' response to the Government.

The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and can be accessed here.

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COVID-19 - Bus Emergency Scheme Continuation of Services

Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the Welsh Government has continued to fund bus services, firstly through maintaining a skeleton network to support essential journeys, and more recently additional funding to ramp up services to support the re-opening of schools and the wider economy. This is in addition to wider transport measures including support for rail services and additional active travel measures.

Further to the announcement last month of an additional £10m of funding to support the provision of a fuller service from September, Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, was yesterday, pleased to announce that the Welsh Government is making available an additional £84.6m of funding to maintain and develop these enhanced levels of service for the rest of the financial year, while reduced demand and capacities significantly affect ticket revenues. This will bring Welsh Government’s total support for bus services this year to £140m.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said, “We want bus services to be meeting the needs of passengers, even in these challenging times. Our continued funding demonstrates our commitment to getting as many services as possible running in a safe way.

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National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week takes place between 21 and 27 September 2020, promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all.

As with the majority of health services, accessing routine eye testing during the COVID-19 lockdown proved impossible. Since then, opticians throughout the country have been putting new protocols into action so that you can receive quality eye care and source the correct prescription glasses.

Whatever your age, good eyesight is vital when using the road. Drivers and motorcyclists must be able to read a vehicle registration plate from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres if the vehicle was registered before September 2001) wearing glasses or contact lenses if required.

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The Car Theory Test Update

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) will introduce changes to the car theory test on Monday 28 September 2020.

The updates, which will make the test more realistic and improve the accessibility for all candidates, were postponed earlier this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Within the multiple choice section of the current theory test, video clip scenarios will replace the written case study and candidates will be asked 3 questions based on the short video.

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Project EDWARD

Gwent Police is joining forces from across the UK in participating in an operation to reduce the number of fatalities on roads across Europe.

‘Project EDWARD’ – which stands for ‘Every Day Without A Road Death’ is a European Roads Policing Network (Roadpol) operation. It is aimed at reducing road deaths, this year’s theme is around driving for work and the operation runs from Monday 14 September to Sunday 20 September.

In line with the theme for 2020, Gwent Police officers will be engaging with communities and highlighting road risk, particularly as more vehicles return to routes.

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