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Funding confirmed for new station at Bow Street

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A NEW Passenger Transport Interchange and station at Bow Street near Aberystwyth, Ceredigion is the only new station in Wales to receive funding.

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) has announced the outcome of applications made to its New Stations Fund 2 (NSF2) – funding which has been made available towards the capital expenditure cost of schemes to open new or re-open previously closed railway stations promoted by third parties in England and Wales.

£16 million is to be shared between five new railway stations including Bow Street, Ceredigion which is to receive £3.945 million and is the only new station to be funded in Wales through the second tranche of the NSF2 Fund.

The scheme to develop a Passenger Transport Interchange at Bow Street, 3.5 miles to the north of Aberystwyth has been developed and promoted jointly by Ceredigion County Council and the Welsh Government.

The proposed scheme is a local and regional transport priority in the Mid Wales Joint Local Transport Plan 2015-2020 and will provide a public transport interchange with a new railway station, car and cycle parking facilities to enable passengers to access both bus and rail services and to car share from this location.

The scheme also seeks to address local road safety concerns by providing a A487/ A4159 junction improvement with active travel facilities. The scheme will support and deliver potential economic growth opportunities and improved access to services and facilities located in and around Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion.

The DfT has announced that the NSF2 Fund is providing £3.945 million towards a total project cost of £6.76 million with match-funding and savings achieved through an ongoing value engineering exercise to bridge any potential funding gap.

Leader of Ceredigion County Council and chairperson for Growing Mid Wales, Councillor Ellen ap Gwynn said: “It was a pleasure to welcome this important strategic announcement at our meeting on Friday. The scheme will support and deliver potential economic growth opportunities and improved access to services and facilities located in and around Aberystwyth and North Ceredigion.”

Ceredigion County Council has worked with the Welsh Government, Mid Wales Rail Implementation Group, Cambrian Railways Partnership, Arriva Trains Wales, Network Rail and Capita to prepare the business case, scheme designs and an application for funding from the Department for Transport/Network Rail New Stations Fund 2. The funding application was submitted by the Welsh Government on behalf of the project development team at the end of November 2016.

Detailed plans were unveiled at a public exhibition in Bow Street in July 2016 and subsequently displayed at the Council office in Aberystwyth and on the Council’s website. Responses showed that there is considerable support for the scheme amongst the local community and discussions have been taking place with local land-owners and business that may be affected by the proposed scheme.

Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Carbon Management for Ceredigion County Council, Councillor Alun Williams said: “We’re delighted to receive this news after all the work the Council has put into making the case. It’s quite unusual for new stations to be built so the case had to be extremely solid.

“The new station will be much more than another stop on the rail line. It is intended to be a park and ride and general transport hub that will bring long-term economic, environmental and connectivity benefits to the whole area, including easing traffic congestion in Aberystwyth. I want to thank everyone who has been involved in developing the case, including local people who have been so supportive.”

The scheme will now be progressed by Ceredigion County Council and the Welsh Government with the objective of completing the new station by 2020.

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No action at Cardiff Airport over virus

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THERE were no checks or screening at Cardiff airport this morning (Jan 23) as international concern continues to grow about the coronavirus which has killed 17 people and infected hundreds in a central Chinese city.

A Herald journalist landing at 5:30am on a flight from Doha, said that passengers arriving from China or other Southeast Asian were not questioned or screened, despite other airports including Heathrow taking action.

The twice daily Doha flight, which was launched with the help of the Welsh Government two years ago, connects travellers from many destinations from South East Asia, including from China. A connection between Beijing and Cardiff is offered with a 10 hour stop over at Hamad International Airport in Qatar.

The outbreak of the virus is centred on the city of Wuhan. Travellers from Wuhan change at Beijing. At this time of year there is an increased number of travellers between China and the UK due to the Chinese New Year celebrations’

The Guardian reported today (Jan 23) that a sense of panic has spread in the central Chinese city of Wuhan as the city of 11 million was put on lockdown in an attempt to quarantine a deadly virus believed to have originated there.

Today, Chinese authorities banned all transport links from the sprawling city, suspending buses, the subway system, ferries and shutting the airport and train stations to outgoing passengers.

Nearby Huanggang also suspended its public bus and railway system by the end of the day.

In Wuhan, it has been reported that supermarket shelves were empty and local markets sold out of produce as residents hoarded supplies and isolated themselves at home. Petrol stations were overwhelmed as drivers stocked up on fuel, exacerbated by rumours that reserves had run out. Local residents said pharmacies had sold out of face masks.

The incubation period for the virus is said to be five days according to experts.

The Welsh Government has been asked for a comment.

Spencer Birns, Chief Commercial Officer at Cardiff Airport, told The Pembrokeshire Herald: “Cardiff Airport is closely following guidance provided by the relevant authorities in relation to screening procedures for Coronavirus. Port Health advice as of 1200 on 23rd January 2020 is to operate business as usual, with no additional screening. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and will update our customers as required.

“The safety and security of our team and customers is our number one priority.”

A spokesperson told The Herald that Chinese nationals arriving in Cardiff on international flights are not being asked if they originated in Wuhan despite the crisis.

“We have not been told to do different to normal,” the spokesperson said.

Pictured above: Regular flights: Qatar Airways plane at Cardiff Airport this morning • Peter Sinclair from Milford Haven lives in China and taking precautions

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Elin Jones congratulates Ceredigion Talking Paper in National Assembly

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AM marks 50 years of service by local news service for the blind

Elin Jones AM has congratulated the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper in a statement in the National Assembly for Wales, marking 50 years of service to blind people in Ceredigion and beyond.

In her statement on Wednesday the 20th of January, Elin Jones said:

“Fifty years ago, in January 1970, an innovative charity was established in Ceredigion for blind people, offering the first service of its kind in Wales and the United Kingdom – a service that would enable the blind people of Ceredigion to hear the latest local news in the press.

“That innovative scheme was the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper.

“The talking newspaper was set up by Ronald Sturt, a lecturer at the College of Librarianship in Llanbadarn. Initially, the recordings of local voices reading articles from the local press were on tape cassettes and provided to 18 people.

“Nowadays, the recordings are on a USB, and there are over a hundred regular listeners of the talking newspaper and more than 60 volunteers contributing regularly. The recordings are published weekly and the coverage includes the Cambrian News, Golwg and Y Cymro.

“One reader, Eileen Sinnett, has volunteered continuously for fifty years. What a contribution she has made!

“I would like to congratulate the Ceredigion Talking Newspaper for breaking new ground in 1970, for 50 years of service and for bringing the news, in both Welsh and English, to those who cannot see or read it in Ceredigion and beyond.”

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Young People raise money for local charities

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On 10 December 2019, young people from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club hosted a Christmas Fayre stall, selling cakes and donated bakes from the local community to raise money for young people receiving care at Angharad Ward, Bronglais Hospital and West Wales Domestic Abuse Service. The club was led by Ceredigion Youth Service and raised over £400 for the charities.

The young people learnt how to make and produce different products, sell and raise money for charity. This gave the young people the opportunity to feel a sense of achievement by giving to others.

Ruby Cook from Ysgol Henry Richard’s Cooking Club said, “Our Cooking Club is made up of young people from Ysgol Henry Richard who attend the after school cooking club. The club focuses on cooking and leaning new life skills. It also gives young people an opportunity to socialise with their friends. We had a great time working on this project, where we baked cakes and had fun in the Christmas Fayre selling them. We would like to thank the local businesses which also donated to our stall. With your support we were able to raise more funds and give more young people gifts this Christmas.”

Mrs Ffion Davies, Ysgol Henry Richard said, “It was a lovely evening seeing the Cooking Club members have fun while making and selling cakes for worthy causes. The enthusiasm the young people showed when giving up their own time to help others at what can be a vulnerable time of year for some was inspiring. Thank you and well done to Ceredigion Youth Service and the Cooking Club members.”

Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I want to congratulate the Cooking Club for their hard work and great achievement. I’m delighted that they not only raised a good sum for charity, but had fun and learnt at the same time. I’m grateful to the Ceredigion Youth Service for their continued good work and support of young people in the county.”

Ceredigion Youth Service is the designated Service for young people aged 11-25 in Ceredigion, dedicated to supporting young people’s personal, social and educational development through specialised support and open access provision. Provision includes School Based Youth Work, Outreach Youth Work and Youth Clubs. For more information or to find out what opportunities are available to you, head over to their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages at @GICeredigionYS.

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