Local scheme in Church Village to improve walking routes to school

A series of improvements will be delivered in the weeks ahead as part of the Church Village Safe Routes in Communities scheme – focusing on upgrading pedestrian facilities on streets near Llanilltud Faerdref Primary School.

From today, Monday, 29 January, work will begin to establish a safer environment for pedestrians that encourages people to walk more of their local journeys – including families travelling to and from their local primary school. The Council has appointed ERH Communications Ltd as the contractor to deliver the work from Monday. The scheme will last around nine weeks in total, and includes:

  • Improving sections of footway, while installing and upgrading informal crossing points using tactile paving where it is necessary.
  • Delivering kerb line improvements at the southern junction between St. Illtyds Road and Cae Fardre, which will shorten the crossing distance.
  • Cutting back vegetation at a number of locations where it has become overgrown and is an obstruction to Public Right of Way footpaths.
  • Constructing a new footway on the southern side of Cae Fardre, between Birch Grove and the playing field access, to formalise a link to the playing fields.
  • Removing 40-metres of the layby located to the east of the junction with Station Road, to create a continuous footway at this location.
  • Improving the existing footway that stretches along the entrance to Ty Illtyd Car Park and around the junction to St Illtyds Road.

Welsh Government announced that the Council has secured £340,000 funding for these works in Church Village during June 2023, as part of its 2023/24 Safe Routes in Communities scheme. This represents an 80% contribution, and the remainder will be provided by Council match funding.

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Almost 30 vehicles stopped in latest crackdown on motoring offences

Operation Utah took place on Monday 22 January to identify and tackle road users putting other motorists at risk.

Gwent Police officers checked almost 30 vehicles and issued 12 traffic offence reports as part of the latest operation to crack down on motoring offences.

Operation Utah – a multi-agency day of action – is designed to identify and tackle road users putting other motorists at risk – either by driving illegally or by driving vehicles not up to a safe standard.

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Views sought on new walking and cycling route into Swansea

A new safe walking and cycling route could be created along a main route into Swansea city centre.

Swansea Council previously received funding from the Welsh Government's Active Travel programme to help design a walking and cycling route, linking Sketty and Uplands to the city centre.

The Council has now come up with a design option which would see pavements and pedestrian crossings upgraded along Walter Road and Sketty Road as well as in Uplands.

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Independent analysis of vehicle speeds 3 months after the implementation of 20mph speed limits in Wales

A leading consultancy in transport safety and behaviour, Agilysis, has published an update to their independent report on the impact of 20mph speed limits in Wales.

This latest report focuses on ten towns and cities in the three-month period post-change, covering the same roads as the initial study. Agilysis examined over 7,900 road sections, to reveal their findings, including:

  • analysis shows a slight bounce back in speeds compared to the one-week post-change period, however overall average speeds are down by 2.4mph compared to pre-change levels
  • there are slight variations across the roads in the analysis, with Bangor experiencing the most significant reduction in average speeds (-3.2mph) and Merthyr Tydfil displaying the smallest change (-1.3mph)
  • over half (52.9%) of all analysed journeys were driven above the 20mph speed limit, with 9% of all analysed journeys driven above the enforcement threshold of 26mph, and 5.4% of journeys driven at speeds above the threshold for a court summons.

Agilysis adds, “The speed enforcement measures which have just begun in January 2024 are seen as a crucial step towards achieving greater compliance across the road network.

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Essential road works to take place on A55

Motorists are advised to plan ahead before they travel as major road works and lane closures are set to begin on the A55 between junction 36 at the Warren Interchange and the Wales-England border at the end of January and continue until the end March.

The works to repair the underlying concrete bays and resurfacing of the road will begin on the eastbound side of the carriageway followed by westbound. In preparation for the main works, junction 36A Broughton Retail Park slip roads will be repaired and resurfaced. Works will begin on 26 January and end on the 25 March.

The new road surface will ensure safer, quieter journeys for motorists and will mean less unplanned closures for emergency repairs on this section of the A55.

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Work progresses on Williams Field Lane to Monnow Bridge Active Travel Route

Starting from 22nd January, Monmouthshire County Council will begin work on a new active travel route, the Williams Field Lane to Monnow Bridge Active Travel Route. 

This project is funded by the Welsh Government Active Travel Fund and Core Active Allocation Fund, and it aims to develop a brand-new active travel route in Monmouth.

This route is a crucial part of the comprehensive Active Travel network. It will provide direct access to Monnow Bridge and the services and facilities within the town centre. The path will connect Williams Field Lane to Monmouth town centre via Wonastow Road and Drybridge Street. It will also provide connections from Rockfield Road skatepark to the town centre.

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I’m dreaming of a white....January?

While some parts of the UK were fortunate enough to have a white Christmas, the people of Wales largely missed out. However, with colder temperatures now affecting the whole country and snow beginning to fall in some areas, road users should ensure that they are prepared.

Before starting any journey, it’s worth keeping up to date with the weather forecast and travel reports. Public transport can be severely affected during the winter, so it is better to find out if there are delays or cancellations before leaving home.

Most people have little experience walking, cycling or driving in snow or ice so take extra care - don’t just continue as normal.  If you need to walk in the snow or ice, try to plan a safe route to ideally avoid hills, steps and areas that have not been gritted. Wear sturdy footwear, with a good grip - you can always change into other footwear when you have reached your destination.

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244 arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in South Wales

Between 1st December 2023, and 1st January 2024, South Wales Police officers conducted 3,145 breath tests and 203 drug tests as part of national campaign, Op Limit.

One hundred and fifty-seven were found to be over the drink drive limit, and 87 of those who were tested for drugs gave a positive result.

Roads Policing Inspector Michael Prickett said: “I am extremely proud of my officers for their work in taking these drivers off the streets.

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Works begin to build high-quality active travel infrastructure in Dafen, Llanelli

Carmarthenshire County Council has begun work to enhance the active travel route and crossing point along Exchange Row and the B4303 in Dafen, Llanelli. 

Locally, the works will make it safer to cross the B4303 whilst also providing improved onward connections as part of the proposed Llanelli Spinal route.  The route seeks to provide a high-quality pedestrian and cycling path for commuters and schoolchildren with links to employment sites, hospitals, and local schools.  Eventually the route will run between Hendy and the Millennium Coastal path with ties to the ongoing Pentre Awel development.

The scheme is being funded by the Welsh Government through their Active Travel Fund and has been secured by Carmarthenshire County Council, via a national competitive bidding process.  The funding can only be utilised for the purposes of new/enhanced Active Travel infrastructure. The design, comprising of Exchange Row and the B4303, is in line with the principles of Llwybr Newydd - The Wales Transport Strategy 2021.

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Operation Ugain Launched

GoSafe has confirmed that on Monday, 8th January 2024, ‘Operation Ugain’ was launched to deliver roadside engagement across Wales. The priority is an engagement focussed approach to 20mph locations to inform the public.

GoSafe, Welsh Police Forces, and Welsh Fire and Rescue Services will be focused on engaging with communities in areas where the speed limit has changed from 30mph to 20mph. The aim is to help drivers adjust to the change.

Operation Ugain uses speed monitoring equipment to identify drivers travelling over the speed limit, before police officers stop the vehicle and give the driver a choice between roadside engagement or points and a fine. While drivers will be offered the free engagement as an alternative, they can refuse, which will then result in prosecution.  Those exceeding the speed limit to a greater degree will not be eligible for an engagement session and will be prosecuted.

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