Connect with us


Carmarthen and Aberystwyth rail link restoration ‘feasible’



A REPORT prepared for the Welsh Government says that the restoration of the rail link between Carmarthen and Aberystwyth is feasible.

However, the report, prepared by the Mott MacDonald consultancy, also reveals that the £775m scheme does not present a positive economic case. As such, it is only likely to be progressed in regard to wider societal needs, and strategic aims.

The constraints of low local population levels (and levels of business, leisure, tourism activity, etc.) impose the key constraint on realistic demand levels and achievable economic benefit.

Subject to the satisfactory resolution of challenges presented by the proposed route, initial operational assessments have determined that, if reinstated, it could provide a regular hourly train service between Aberystwyth, Llanilar, Tregaron, Lampeter, Llanybydder, Pencader and Carmarthen, with an end to end journey time of around 85 minutes.

Based on a 2024 opening, initial demand assessments indicate that the reinstated railway service could attract up to 370,000 trips in its first year of operation, rising to 425,000 and 489,000 in the assessment years of 2027 and 2037 respectively.

The report notes that significant further work is needed to assess the local impact and the effect of the route’s re-opening on properties and environmentally sensitive areas cross by the proposed line.

Plaid Cymru’s local AMs and MPs called on the Welsh and UK Governments to work together to prioritise the reinstating of the rail link between Aberystwyth and Carmarthen.

In spite of the report’s failure to make a positive economic case, the Plaid representatives are optimistic that the cost can be met, so long as the UK and the Welsh Governments work together positively.

Elin Jones AM, said: “The Mott Macdonald report is the game-changer needed in the campaign to reinstate Aberystwyth to Carmarthen Rail Link. I’ve lived alongside this rail corridor almost all my life and I’ve never seen a train. For the first time, I can see a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel in making this project a reality. It is now costed, it is technically feasible and it is now only a matter of political prioritisation by both Welsh and UK Governments.”

Ben Lake MP, said: “The report has thrown up many of the environmental and logistical constraints facing a project of this magnitude. But I am glad that the report has not shown the project the red light. I hope that communities along the route will now join together to consider the report’s implications and to put pressure on Governments to take the project to the next stage. I’ll be seeking an urgent meeting with the UK Railways Minister to discuss the report.”

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP, Jonathan Edwards, said: “The cost of this project at first appears substantial, but as we’ve seen this weekend, the scheme would be minuscule in comparison to the £100billion projected spend on the England-only HS2 railway. Wales has already lost out on rail funding out to the tune of £5billion. This could fund a host of infrastructure projects including the Carmarthen to Aberystwyth railway line.”

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM, and leader of Plaid Cymru, Adam Price AM said: “The decision to undertake the Technical Feasibility Study was a result of Plaid Cymru’s budget negotiations with the Welsh Government, and I welcome its optimistic and detailed assessment of the task ahead. It is an opportunity to create a national rail corridor starting with Carmarthen to Aberystwyth. This is an exciting and imaginative idea that I think will inspire people and will change the shape of our nation. If the Welsh Government is serious about developing every part of Wales, then this is the opportunity to prove it.”

With Wales’ transport infrastructure in the spotlight, Welsh Government ministers will be mindful of growing concerns that it is too focussed on the area around its own bubble in the Bay at the rest of Wales’ expense.


New Quay RNLI rescue two people in the water



ON FRIDAY (Jul 16), New Quay RNLI’s inshore lifeboat was requested to launch by HM Coastguard following reports of two people in the water off Ynys Lochtyn, near Llangrannog, having capsized their kayak. 

At 10.40am New Quay’s inshore lifeboat Audrey LJ launched with three volunteer crew members on board and made good speed down the coast in excellent weather conditions. 

Huw Williams, New Quay RNLI’s helm said, “When we arrived on scene we found one person had made it back onto the kayak and one still in the water. Both had been in the water for 30 minutes and were struggling in the tidal current so it was important that we got them on board to be assessed.  

“The Coastguard Rescue Helicopter was also tasked but was stood down after we confirmed that both casualties were safe and well, with no injuries. 

“Having got the casualties and the kayak onto the lifeboat we transferred them to Llangrannog beach where we handed over to the RNLI lifeguards and the New Quay Coastguard rescue team.” 

It was also a first shout for New Quay RNLI’s newest crew member, Will Best.  

Will is an international yachtsman and, sailing on the yacht Alegre, he has chalked up wins in both the Rolex Middle Sea and Giraglia Races. He was also navigator on board the winning 2011 Sydney to Hobart race boat Loki. As well as sailing competitively, Will specialises in the design and installation of electronic systems on Grand Prix race boats and super yachts. He has also worked with a number of America’s Cup and Volvo race teams.  

Roger Couch, New Quay RNLI’s Lifeboat Operations Manager said, “Will brings a wealth of seafaring knowledge and is a great addition to the crew. Welcome on board Will!” 

Will added, “It has been great to join the New Quay RNLI crew. They are a great team and I’m glad I’ve got my first shout under my belt.”

Continue Reading


Man, 22, charged with murder of John William Bell in Cardigan



A CARDIGAN man has been charged with murder after a man’s death in Ceredigion.

Dyfed-Powys Police said 22-year-old Ashley Keegan, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with his murder.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police can confirm that Ashley Keegan, aged 22, of Golwg y Castell, Cardigan, has been charged with the murder of John William Bell.

“Keegan will appear at Swansea magistrates court on Saturday 24th July 2021.

“John’s family continue to be supported by specialist officers and the investigation is grateful for the support of the community whilst enquiries were conducted.”

This is the second major incident in the same area this month.

Another man was charged with making threats with a knife, he is again from Golwg y Castell.

Dyfed-Powys Police said they received a number of calls reporting a man brandishing a knife towards another man in Maesyfelin, Cardigan, at around 4.20pm on Wednesday (July 14).

Several police units swiftly made their way to the area, but the suspect had fled.

Dean Thomas, aged 25, was quickly located at his home in Golwg y Castell, where he was arrested on suspicion of affray and taken to custody.

Mobile phone footage was gathered from people at the scene, and statements were taken from witnesses.

Cardigan Inspector Owen Williams said: “Thanks to the swift attendance of officers, there were a number of people present who were able to provide evidence to assist with our enquiries.
“Thomas also made a significant statement linking himself with the incident, and was charged within hours of being arrested.

“I hope the speed with which we carried out enquiries into this incident reassures people living in Maesyfelin, who were naturally very concerned by what had happened.”

Thomas was charged with threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place and appeared at Aberystwyth Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, July 15 where he admitted the offence.

He will be sentenced on July 29 at Swansea Crown Court.

In relation to the murder, anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at:, by emailing, or by calling 101 and quoting Op Reedham. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting

Continue Reading


Devastated family’s tribute to ‘loving and devoted’ son



THE FAMILY of the 37-year-old man who died in Cardigan in the early hours of Wednesday morning (Jul 21) have said he will be “hugely missed by all that loved him”.

John Bell, who lived in the town, was found on the road to Cardigan Bridge at around midnight.

His family has issued this statement: “We are devastated at the loss of John.

“He was a loving and devoted Son, Brother, Father and Uncle and he will be hugely missed by all that loved him. 

“We ask for privacy at this time.”

John’s family is being supported by specially trained officers.

A 22-year-old man arrested on suspicion of murder remains in police custody.

Detective Superintendent Paul Jones said: “Our thoughts go out to John’s family at this very difficult time.

“We are currently focussing our investigation in Golwg Y Castell and the road between there and Cardigan Bridge, where Mr Bell was located.

“We are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen or heard an altercation in that area during the evening of Tuesday, 20 July, particularly the latter part of the evening, after 10pm, before police attended at around midnight.”

Anyone with information that could help officers with their investigation is asked to report it to Dyfed-Powys Police, either online at, by emailing, or by calling 101. If you are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired text the non-emergency number on 07811 311 908. Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting Quote reference: DP-20210720-458.

Continue Reading

Popular This Week