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Haverfordwest: Road to be closed this month for bridge replacement

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RESIDENTS in Haverfordwest are being reminded by Network Rail that essential work to replace Pembroke Road railway bridge will be completed later this month.

As part of the £4.25m upgrade project, Network Rail engineers will demolish the existing railway bridge deck – which carries the South Wales Main Line – and install a new, more resilient structure as part its Railway Upgrade Plan to improve the reliability of the railway. The 80-year-old bridge deck requires replacing as it is nearing the end of its lifespan.

To ensure the core work is carried out as efficiently and as safely as possible, part of Pembroke Road will require a short, temporary closure between the railway bridge and Merlins Bridge Welfare Hall.

The road will be closed to through traffic and pedestrians from 8pm on Friday, January 18 until 6pm on Monday, January 21. Clay Lane will also be temporarily closed to all through traffic during this time.

The official diversion route will be fully signposted for Pembroke Road, and motorists are advised to allow additional time for their journeys. A courtesy shuttle bus service will be in operation for pedestrians and cyclists during the essential work.

A bus replacement service will be in operation between Whitland and Milford Haven for rail passengers on January 19-20 and passengers are advised to check with their train operator before they travel.

The essential replacement of Milford Road railway bridge will take place next month. The A4076 at Milford Road railway bridge will be closed from 7pm on Friday, February 15 until 6am on Monday, February 18.

Residents and local businesses wishing to find out more about the work to the bridges are invited to attend ‘drop-in’ events on January 10 and 31 from 3pm to 6pm at the Merlins Bridge Welfare Hall, Pembroke Road, SA61 1JW. No appointment is necessary and representatives from Network Rail’s project team will be on hand to provide information and answer any questions.

Rhys Howells, scheme project manager for Network Rail in Wales and Borders, said: “We understand that closing the roads for any length of time is inconvenient and we thank the local community and road users for bearing with us whilst we complete these essential upgrade works to replace Pembroke Road railway bridge.

“We have been working closely with Pembrokeshire County Council and other partners to minimise disruption, and to develop the diversionary routes. I would encourage anyone wishing to find out more to attend one of the ‘drop-in’ events, where we will be happy to answer your questions.”

Preparatory work is now underway on Pembroke road railway bridge and a single lane traffic management system will be in operation on Pembroke Road, at the railway bridge from 10pm on Saturday, January 12 to 10am on Sunday, January 13.

To ensure Network Rail teams can complete finishing work safely, a single lane traffic management system will also be in operation at the bridge, from 10pm on Saturday 26 to 10am on Sunday 27 January and from 10pm on Saturday 2 to 10am on Sunday February 3.

For more information visit www.networkrail.co.uk/merlins-bridge

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Police officer was assaulted on Christmas Day

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A 25-YEAR-OLD woman from Haverfordwest appeared before the town’s magistrates on Tuesday (Jan 15) to face a charge of assault by beating against a police officer.

Tiffany Rowlands, of West Court, pleaded guilty to assaulting PC Gareth Potter on Christmas Day.

Prosecutor, Sian Vaughan said: “The officer was at the defendant’s property searching the childrens’ bedrooms.

“Rowlands pushed the officer to the chest, and after she calmed down apologised following the incident.”

Defence solicitor, Mark Layton, said: “There’s no record of any injury. They were upstairs, the lights were off so it was dark, and she realises it was wholly inappropriate.”

Magistrates fined Rowlands £40 for the offence and ordered her to pay £85 prosecution costs and £30 victim surcharge.

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Milford Haven: Booms to be removed following oil spill

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BOOMS installed earlier this month to contain an oil spill in the Milford Haven waterway will be removed tomorrow (Jan 17).

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and partner agencies have continued to survey the affected areas since the incident on 3 January and are satisfied that they have contained as much oil as possible.

Where oil has been found on local beaches, Valero’s clean up team have removed it under advice of NRW officers.

The investigation into how this incident, and the previous oil spill in December 2018, happened is ongoing.

Following further assessments and an inspection of the affected fuel pipelines, Valero now believe that no more than 500 litres of oil was released during the incident on 3 January – significantly less than originally feared.

But the pipelines will remain closed after NRW took action last week to suspend their use. NRW will not allow Valero to reopen the pipelines until it is satisfied they can operate without causing further damage to the local environment.

Andrea Winterton, Operations Manager from Natural Resources Wales, said: “Following a swift response from everyone involved, much of the pollution has been contained and cleaned up quickly, reducing the impact it could have had on wildlife and the environment.

“Along with our partners, we will continue to monitor the situation and will respond to any further reports of oil washing ashore in the coming weeks.

“Valero continue to support our efforts and cooperate with our enquiries into how the incidents happened. Our investigation also continues as we consider what further action we need to take to stop this happening again.”

NRW is asking people who live in the area to report any signs of pollution to their 24/7 incident hotline on 03000 65 3000.

The multi-agency response to this incident has involved the following organisations: NRW, Pembrokeshire County Council, Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority, Milford Haven Port Authority, Marine and Coastguard Agency, Public Health Wales, Food Standards Agency.

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Fishguard: Sex offender caught trying to flee to Ireland

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A sex offender from Bow Street near Aberystwyth who tried to move to Ireland without telling anyone has been jailed.

Dennis Bull, aged 67, was caught trying to drive a van onto the Fishguard–Rosslare ferry with his belongings in the back ready for a new life in the Republic.

Bull, of Nirmit, admitted failing to comply with the conditions of registration as a sex offender and was jailed for 16 months.

Dyfed Thomas, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court it was the third time he had breached the order, imposed at Caernarfon crown court in February, 2016, for possessing indecent images of children.

That conviction was on top of earlier offending in New Zealand that included indecent exposure, outraging public decency and gross indecency with a child.

Mr Thomas said Bull had been jailed for 16 months in 2016 and ordered to register with the police. The restrictions imposed included a requirement to tell the police if he intended to change address.

On November 13 last year police at Fishguard harbour became aware of a Ford Mondeo registered to Bull.

A few minutes later Bull was arrested as he attempted to drive a van onto the Stenna ferry, which was loaded with household items.

Bull told the police he had made arrangements to move to Ireland “lock, stock and barrel” because he understood the monitoring of sex offenders was less strict.

In particular, said Mr Thomas, Bull did not like prospective employers being told about his convictions.

Judge Geraint Walters told Bull, “This was a planned and determined attempt to avoid detection. It was only the eagle eyes of the authorities that brought you to book.

“Your record is troubling and you present a risk of committing more offences of a sexual nature.

 “You are defiant of court orders that are there to protect others and it is truly disturbing that you are so keen to breach them.”

Bull was warned that the 2016 order remained in place for a further seven years.

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