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Joining together to launch new vision for freight

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A VISION for how freight transport across Mid Wales and the Marches could be improved to support economic development and operational efficiency was launched on Wednesday (Feb 21).

The Growing Mid Wales Partnership and The Marches Local Enterprise Partnership, together with the Welsh Government and councils on both sides of the border, jointly commissioned the new strategy. It includes recommendations on how to improve the experience of businesses moving freight within and through the region, whilst enhancing the quality of life for residents near to key freight corridors and reducing environmental impacts. Both rail and road options are included.

The launch of the strategy in Welshpool marks a high point in an on-going collaboration between the two regions which started in 2016. As a collaborative process, the commissioning and development of the strategy has been managed by a steering group of officers from both sides of the border. Growing Mid Wales is a regional partnership comprising of representative bodies from across the private, public and voluntary sector in mid Wales namely Ceredigion, Powys and South Gwynedd.

Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn, Chair of the Growing Mid Wales Partnership and Ceredigion County Council Leader, said: “Whether we’re considering a largely single carriageway road network and its impact on journey times and reliability; the effect of agricultural vehicles on the network; or the high levels of congestion experienced in many of our towns and villages, the picture is very similar on both sides of the border. Simply, good road and rail links are necessary for our businesses now and to support future growth both here in Mid Wales and in the Marches.”

If fully implemented, it is anticipated the strategy could provide benefits to operators of heavy goods vehicles (HGV) worth at least £149m.
This would be achieved through a series of highway enhancements focused on increased opportunities for safe overtaking; improvements to alleviate bottlenecks; and changes at certain key locations to allow 44 tonne HGVs to operate across the whole of the freight network.

Councillor ap Gwynn, added: “It, therefore, made perfect sense to take a co-operative approach, consulting our businesses including freight operators, and our local communities, to better understand the shared barriers to economic growth and how we can work together to overcome them.”

The consultation process involved input from a wide range of businesses and local councils via online surveys; business workshops in Ludlow and Newtown; and telephone interviews with key shippers, road hauliers, infrastructure managers and policy-makers.

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Former AM charged with child porn offences

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SIMON THOMAS, the former Plaid Cymru AM for Mid & West Wales has been charged with three offences of making indecent images of children.

Mr Thomas, aged 54, was charged with the offences earlier today (Sept 18) at Aberystwyth Police Station.

He has been bailed to appear at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, October 3.

At the time of his arrest, Mr Thomas was his Party’s spokesperson on Rural Affairs and Energy policy and had recently taken up a role which would have seen him perform a significant role in Plaid Cymru’s future campaigns.

His arrest in July was a shock both to his political allies and those in other parties in the Assembly.

Following his arrest, Mr Thomas resigned immediately as an Assembly Member and from Plaid Cymru. He was replaced as regional AM by Helen Mary Jones.

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Storm Helene could bring 70mph winds

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WINDS of up to 70mph could batter the county on Monday and Tuesday (Sept 17-18) with a yellow weather warning issued by the Met Office.

Storm Helene is set to arrive on Monday evening at around 6pm and last until Tuesday at around 8am.

Operational Meteorologist for the Met Office Martin Bowles said: “An issue is that trees are in full leaf and so are more likely to be blown over in strong winds than they would be in the middle of winter.

“That could be a problem.

“The storm will head straight up through the Irish Sea and across the North of England on Monday night, bringing some heavy rain and some strong winds.

“We have updated some areas to a yellow warning.”

Motorists are advised to allow extra time for their journeys and take extra care on the roads.

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Police confirm body found following Belgrave House fire

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POLICE have confirmed that remains of a male have been recovered during the search at Belgrave House Hotel, Aberystwyth.

The remains have not yet been identified.

The family of the missing Lithuanian man have been informed of this development.

H.M.Coroner has been updated and a Home Office post mortem has been arranged

The search of the scene continues.

Police are in consultation with the Crown Prosecution Service over this development.

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