Written Statement: Bus Emergency Scheme and Franchising Expert Panel

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change:

"Today I have published a statement with partners from industry and local authorities setting out a further extension to our Bus Emergency Scheme (BES). Since the pandemic Welsh Government has spent over £150m through BES to keep vital bus services running.

"I can confirm we will extend BES for a further three week period to the end of this academic year. The scheme will now run to 24th July 2023.  This will mean that school transport will continue as normal.  It will also provide further stability for the industry while we work on the transition away from emergency style funding to plan bus networks which better suit the new travel patterns we have seen since the end of the pandemic.

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More investment coming for Swansea's highways in the year ahead

Swansea Council’s popular PATCH community road resurfacing programme is set to get a boost as part of almost £15m of investment in roads across the city in the coming years.

Swansea's Cabinet has approved a programme of work that will see road repairs, footpath upgrades and street light improvements across all communities in the city.

The package of measures, including almost £6m in the next 12 months with similar sums to follow in the two years after, will see roads repaired and work to prevent roads in good condition from deteriorating.

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Art to highlight the 20mph default speed limit

A Gwynedd school pupil will have his artwork displayed on roadsides near schools across Wales to encourage drivers to respect the forthcoming 20mph default speed limit on most 30mph streets in Wales, from 17 September 2023.

A recent Welsh Government and Road Safety Wales competition captured the imagination of more than 2,000 talented young artists. Pupils in Year 5 to Year 8, in primary and secondary schools across Wales, were challenged to create designs.

It comes as Wales gets ready to see the default speed limits on restricted roads change from 30mph to 20mph, to make streets safer.

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New data shows benefits of driving at 20mph as Wales prepares to lower default speed limit

Slower driving speeds, increased levels of walking and cycling and minimal impact on journey times are among the key findings of a new report carried out in areas of Wales trialling the new default 20mph speed limit.

The interim monitoring report uses data gathered from the Welsh Government’s eight first phase areas and has been published today (Friday, March 17) – exactly six months before default limit is applied across Wales.

On September 17, the Welsh Government will introduce a default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads across Wales.

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Advice For Driving In Snow Or Ice

With the return of wintry weather conditions, if you find yourself driving on icy or snow covered roads, adapt your driving to the conditions:

  • Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
  • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently.
  • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up fully can quickly make you drowsy.
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
  • During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges, in shaded areas and on exposed bridges.
  • Be aware of ice even on gritted roads, although the road has been treated the road is unlikely to be wholly free of ice.



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