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Tesco illuminations upset neighbours

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screen-shot-2017-01-05-at-16-36-27AN ABERYSTWYTH woman has started a petition to get the new Tesco store in Aberystwyth to turn its lights out. Alexandra Parr asks: “Why does a small town need to be illuminated day and night by a big new Tesco shop and car park in the town centre, very close to residential areas?”

Stating that Tesco’s lighting is a waste of energy, Alexandra Parr also says that the supermarket is causing light pollution: “It just makes no sense to have these big lights on an open topped car park on in daylight, and then continue to be on all night when the shop is not open.” For the residents who live on ground-floor level near to the car park, she says ‘it is like daylight shining into their windows’.

“Tesco have gone ahead with this massive illumination with no thought for the residents of the town, the planet’s resources, and it doesn’t seem much thought at all.’

As of Wednesday (Dec 14), the petition had gathered 443 signatures. When complete, Alexandra Parr intends to deliver the petition to both Tesco Head Office and Ceredigion County Council. A regular visitor to Aberystwyth who lives in Bath

commented on the petition online: “I have been horrified that in this environmentally aware age that TESCO firstly, want to and second ly, that the Local Authority has allowed the indiscriminate floodlighting that now dominates the whole vista of the town from near or far. By the proper placement of the appropriate lighting fixtures, and by selective ‘as necessary’ switching all TESCO-specific requirements can be easily satisfied without having to detrimentally affect the Welsh environment, and at the same time annoy the town’s residents nearby and everywhere else within line-of-sight.”

Switch-off switches!

Independent experts on carbon emissions, The Carbon Trust, state that, on average in the retail sector, 25% of an organisation’s electricity costs come from lighting. In 2013, France passed a law on the lighting of non-residential buildings that required shops and offices to turn off their lights one hour after the last worker leaves a building. Shop window displays should be turned off at 1am and shop windows may only be lit from 7 am or an hour before opening time. Back in 2013, experts calculated that if the UK adopted a similar law, it could save almost £1.20 billion per year. In terms of light pollution, the International Dark- Sky Association cites research which suggests that artificial light at night can negatively affect human health in a number of serious ways. Moreover, they point out that glare from bad lighting is a safety hazard. Glare decreases vision by reducing contrast, which limits our ability to see potential dangers at night. This is particularly the case for older people.

Tesco’s environmental policy states that: “Following the UK’s 2010 Climate Change Act, we made an ambitious commitment to become a zero carbon business by 2050 and have set medium-term 2020 targets to help us achieve this, specifically: To reduce CO2e emissions per square foot of our stores and distribution centres against a 2006/7 baseline by 50%.” So, by any measure, including their own, it seems that Tesco should consider switching off at least some of the shop and car-park lights to save their neighbours grief, save themselves a lot of money, and save a bit of carbon from entering the atmosphere and contributing to climate change: Every little helps! Now, who said that?

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Proposed work on dangerous Dorglwyd Junction set to be delayed

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ELIN JONES AM and Ben Lake MP have expressed their frustration following a recent statement from the Welsh Government noting that work on the A487 Dorglwyd junction from Comins Coch, would be delayed.

The junction has witnessed several crashes and close-calls over recent years, with local residents calling for the development of a roundabout or similar traffic-calming measures.

The Welsh Government announced in September 2016 that a feasibility study would be undertaken by the following Summer as to consider potential options to improve the junction.

However, a recent letter from Ken Skates AM, Welsh Government Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Transport to Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP noted: “We are aware of the issues at the junction and an improvement scheme has been within our upgrades programme for some time. Unfortunately, due to limited financial resources and competing priorities, it has progressed slowly.”

“We are currently reviewing the scope of a possible improvement and considering solutions which are affordable and minimise environmental impact. When we are in a position to present outline solutions, a workshop with local stakeholders will be held. This is likely to be in early 2019.”

Elin Jones AM said: “Whilst I do welcome such clarification from the Cabinet Secretary on the next steps for Dorglwyd junction, it is disappointing to read that no major works for the transformation will happen due to the expense of the project. It is positive however to see that a smaller scale improvement is now to be pursued, with consultation likely to be undertaken in early 2019.”

John Roberts, local Ceredigion County Councillor for Faenor ward, added: “I share both Elin Jones’ and Ben Lake’s disappointment at the response from Ken Skates AM. The original plan was to encapsulate a more global project including the Llanbadarn bypass therefore we need to be more realistic in our aspirations for Dorglwyd corner. Having discussed the project on site with both Elin Jones AM and Ben Lake MP last week we were of the opinion that a much smaller project which could solve the Dorglwyd issue was feasible and be much cheaper than the present scheme. We will wait for the consultation period in 2019.”

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Museum lights up the past

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CEREDIGION MUSEUM has had a full refurbishment of its lighting thanks to £116,558 of grants from Welsh Governments Museums Archives and Libraries Division and the Rural Community Development Fund.

Museum Curator, Carrie Canham, said: “Lighting has been a problem for us for some time; the system was so old that we couldn’t get new bulbs for some of the fittings. Also, we love to put on theatrical and musical performances at the museum but we couldn’t create an atmosphere with just strip lights and footlights. We’ve now got great stage and display lighting and it’s transformed the whole experience for our audiences.

“The new lighting system is all LED, so not only does it look much better it is also more suitable for the more delicate exhibits and it saves us money on our lighting bill.”

The lighting was designed and installed by DBNAudile, who specialise in museum lighting.

The team managed to install the system with minimal disruption to visitors.

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KeolisAmey awarded Wales and Borders Rail contract

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KEOLISAMEY is pleased that the Welsh Government has announced its intention to award the contract to operate the Wales and Borders rail service and the South Wales Metro to KeolisAmey.

Upon successful completion of a 10-day standstill period, the contract will run from June 4, 2018, to October 14, 2033, with rail services transferring on October 14, 2018.

This standstill period is normal procurement practice.

KeolisAmey is a joint venture partnership of international public transport operator Keolis, and infrastructure asset management specialist Amey.

KeolisAmey currently runs the Docklands Light Railway (DLR) in London, which has one of the best records in UK rail – consistently better than 99% reliability. Additionally, we operate and maintain Greater Manchester’s Metrolink – the largest tram network in the UK.

Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive of Keolis UK, said: “This will be a transformative new rail service for Wales and its borders which will see Keolis once more combine its worldwide expertise in passenger operations with Amey’s engineering excellence.

“We look forward to the successful completion of the procurement process – this exciting contract will deliver for all of Wales. The procurement process was rigorous, resulting in transformative solutions for the benefit of all in Wales, and indeed, future generations.

“While the proposed changes won’t happen overnight, the railway will be unrecognisable in five years thanks to the vision of the Welsh Government.”

Andy Milner, Amey’s Chief Executive, said: “Building on our successful partnership with Keolis, which already sees us deliver two high performing services – the Greater Manchester Metrolink and London’s DLR – we are honoured to be asked to operate the Wales and Borders service.

“This is a great opportunity for us to use our joint capabilities to deliver a first-rate service for Wales. We will be focused on working with Transport for Wales to transform the existing infrastructure and introduce new trains to significantly improve the passenger experience, as well as creating hundreds of new jobs and apprenticeship opportunities.”

KeolisAmey is unable to make any further comment until the procurement process has concluded and the contract has been awarded.

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