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Free weekend bus travel pilot off to a fast start

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THE TRAWSCYMRU network has seen a huge increase in passengers across the network since the Welsh Government launched its free weekend bus travel pilot in July, figures have shown.

The Welsh Government funded pilot applies to all buses on the extensive TrawsCymru network and will continue every weekend until at least May 2018. When compared with data from the previous year, increases of well over 100 per cent have been recorded across the network, with the T4 service between Newtown and Cardiff currently boasting the greatest increase.

The highest increases in total daily bus passenger numbers (including child and concessions) were recorded on the following days and services:

TrawsCymru T4: Newtown – Brecon – Merthyr Tydfil – Pontypridd – Cardiff
Saturday, August 26: 1,971 bus passengers used the service compared with 461 on Saturday, August 27 the year before – an increase of 328%

TrawsCymru T5: Aberystwyth – New Quay – Cardigan – Fishguard – Haverfordwest
Sunday, July 9: 555 bus passengers used the service compared with 146 on July 10 the year before – an increase of 280%

TrawsCymru T5: Aberystwyth – New Quay – Cardigan – Fishguard – Haverfordwest
Sunday, August 20: 389 bus passengers used the service compared with 126 on August 21 the year before – an increase of 209%

TrawsCymru T1: Aberystwyth – Lampeter – Carmarthen
Sunday, August 13: 437 bus passengers used the service compared with 169 on August 14 the year before – an increase of 159%

TrawsCymru T4: Newtown – Brecon – Merthyr Tydfil – Pontypridd – Cardiff
Saturday, August 12: 2,130 bus passengers used the service compared with 874 on Saturday, August 13 – an increase of 144%.

Welcoming the news, Economy and Infrastructure Secretary Ken Skates said: “The TrawsCymru network covers large areas of Wales, some of which would otherwise be inaccessible by public transport and it’s extremely encouraging to see this pilot boosting summer passenger numbers.

“From Bangor to Cardiff, Fishguard to Wrexham, this scheme provides a perfect opportunity for people from across Wales and beyond to jump on a bus and spend their weekends enjoying the diverse beauty of Wales and I am delighted it has already proved so popular.

“For those who are yet to take full advantage of the pilot, there’s still time to find out where your nearest service could take you. I’ve been keen that this pilot, at the very least, serves to increase the awareness of what bus services are available locally and today’s figures suggest that to be the case. I look forward to seeing how this TrawsCymru increase has impacted other services later this year.”

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Recognition given to long-standing members of Council committee

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AT AN Ethics and Standards Committee (virtual) meeting held on 17 September 2021,  Rif Winfield and Hywel Wyn Jones were given recognition for their 10 years’ of service to the Committee between 2011 and 2021. A small plaque was presented to both.

Hywel was Chair of the Committee for 3 years.

In their place, two new independent members Alan Davies and Caryl Davies have been appointed.

Eifion Evans, Chief Executive of Ceredigion County Council said, “Ceredigion County Council has benefitted from a decade of advice and considerations provided by Rif & Hywel. We welcome the new members of the committee and their input to the function of the Committee will be greatly appreciated.”

Standards Committees of local authorities exist to do all that is possible to promote and safeguard the standards that the public rightly expect from their elected representatives.

Ceredigion County Council Chairman, Councillor Paul Hinge, said, “Our thanks go to Rif and Hywel who have given their time to contribute to the Committee and we welcome the new members.”

The Committee is made up of five independent members, two county councillors and two town/community councillors. Meeting quarterly, reports for the Ethics and Standards Committee including dispensation applications can be found on the Council website: www.ceredigion.gov.uk.

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Exciting new developments on the horizon for Lampeter Wellbeing Centre

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Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility

At a Cabinet meeting held on 01 December 2020, it was agreed that Lampeter Leisure Centre would become the location of the Council’s first Wellbeing Centre in the County.

A significant amount of work and investment is to be made at the Leisure Centre which will improve the facility and the resources for years to come.

Over the coming months, as we see the plans and proposals for Wellbeing Centre develop, they will be shared with service users and the residents of Ceredigion.

Architects have been appointed to oversee the project and work will now begin on the proposed layout for the facility. The layout will be a reconfiguration of the existing facility in order to provide a Wellbeing Centre that can provide an enhanced range of Through Age Services, including Leisure Services to the residents of Lampeter and the mid of the county. 

Councillor Catherine Hughes, Ceredigion County Council Cabinet Member, said: “We are looking forward to the development of the new Wellbeing Centre at Lampeter. This will provide a range of services to residents within their local community.

This development comes at a welcome time, as Ceredigion Public Service Board is carrying out an Assessment of Local Wellbeing, in order to find out about the wellbeing of local people and communities, now and in the future.”

Lampeter Leisure Centre will be closed during the building works, but during this period alternative provision will be made available for all service users and clubs.

We look forward to being able to share these alternative plans with you over the coming weeks, as soon as these arrangements have been finalised.

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UK Government must improve HGV drivers’ working conditions – Ben Lake MP

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Many people in the HGV industry have expressed concern

FOLLOWING his contribution during PMQs on September 8 regarding the HGV driver crisis, Ben Lake MP has raised the issue again, with Minister Grant Shapps.

Ben Lake MP has said:

“Many constituents who work in the HGV industry have come forward to share their experiences with me about the HGV driver crisis. As well as expressing grave concern, they have also shared ideas and long-term solutions that would greatly improve the current situation. 

“It’s important that the UK Government listens and gives full consideration to these suggestions and I look forward to meeting with the Minister in the near future to discuss them further.”

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