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Tanker crash was ‘potential explosion’

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tanker3A COLLISION between a crane and a tanker carrying diesel caused travel delays and road closures affecting workers, shoppers and tourists on Friday 16th August.

The accident took place near the roundabout used by the majority of traffic to and through Haverfordwest from the south of Pembrokeshire. The impact of the two vehicles ruptured the fuel tanker and caused an estimated 4,000 litres of diesel to spill on to the carriage way.

Disruption also took place to morning rail services between Milford Haven and Haverfordwest.

Travelling to Haverfordwest at the time of the accident was hospital car volunteer Christopher Shields, ‘It was about 6.35 in the morning and I was bringing patients to Withybush. I was behind a black car and a Calor gas pick-up.

‘I was just behind the stationary tanker when the crane came out of the joining road and poked it with his jib. The jib burst the tank open. Fuel gushed out all over Merlin’s Bridge. I did not know whether it was petrol or diesel.

‘The black car in front of me, steered round the collision and shot off through the lights. The Calor gas driver got out and signalled everyone to get clear. I made a pretty quick U-turn and headed down the Old Hakin Road.

Joked Chris, ‘If it had exploded, the burgers in MacDonald’s would have been well done. And so would I.’

Speaking to the Herald, one local resident told us that the road layout of the junction where the accident happened was far from ideal. ‘It looked as though both vehicles were on their own right sides of the road, but there simply wasn’t enough room for both of them.’

Heavy goods vehicles heading for Milford Haven from the east were diverted to the A477 and the Cleddau Bridge crossing.

Specialist equipment was used to remove the damaged vehicles and to mop up the spill. A portion of the road was subject to resurfacing works.

Jamie Powell, one of the sales team at the Herald, was on the scene. ‘The stink of the diesel was unbelievable. By the time I got there, preparations were already underway to shut the road and the fire service was at the scene.’

The closure of the main road in to Pembrokeshire’s commercial and administrative centre resulted in long traffic delays and the diversion of vehicles down side roads.

Jane Potter,  a Johnston resident, told us ‘It took almost half an hour minutes to travel the length of the Bulford Road to Tier’s Cross. The road is very narrow and it was a tight squeeze for buses and lorries to get by. One lorry driver told me it had taken him an hour to get from a nearby quarry. The amount of traffic meant it took me over fifty minutes to get from Johnston into work.’

With the Old Hakin Road closed, travellers heading to Haverfordwest were diverted to take the B4327 through Dreen Hill. Those attempting to take a short cut along the Ratford Bridge road were soon nose to tail and meeting traffic coming the other way.

The B4341 was closed for a period following a separate road traffic accident, adding to the weight of traffic on the usually quiet Dreen Hill road.

The efforts of Council workers in managing the dive

 

rted traffic and resurfacing the road so quickly received praise on the Council’s Facebook page. Local resident Lou Pooley commented, ‘Well done to all involved clearing it up and sorting the road.’ David Swan echoed her words writing, ‘Well done on turning round a difficult job in such a tight time frame whilst protecting the environment.’

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New Eco Feature For Haverfordwest

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Plans have been submitted for a ‘living green wall’ to be planted in the centre of Haverfordwest in a bid to enhance local biodiversity and wildlife.

The green wall would be situated alongside the river opposite Glan-yr-Afon, the town’s library and cultural centre, and planted with 25 species of native plants including ferns, grasses, flowers and wild herbs including basil, sage and clary.

As well as providing an important habitat for pollinators, the wall would also be an attractive natural feature in its own right, says Sara Morris, Pembrokeshire County Council’s Development Plans and Conservation Manager.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to re-introduce nature in the heart of Haverfordwest,” she said. “As with all planting, it will take some time for the plants to grow and flourish but given time it will look very attractive.”

The maintenance of the wall, which is scheduled for installation towards the end of October, would be carried out by a team of volunteers. New benches made from Welsh slate would also be installed to encourage residents and visitors to enjoy spending time in the area.

The green wall is part of the Cleddau Reaches partnership project which forms one of the priorities in the Haverfordwest Regeneration framework.

The Cleddau Reaches partners are Pembrokeshire County Council, the Bridge Meadow Trust, Haverfordwest Town Council, Natural Resources Wales (NRW) and Haverfordwest Kayak Club.

Pembrokeshire College and the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority have also supported the project.

The aim is to improve and enhance the rights of way network in and around Haverfordwest and in particular, around the Western Cleddau, through several different inter-linked schemes.

Grant funding of approximately £250,000 has been provided by the NRW, Haverfordwest Town Council and the Landfill Disposals Tax Community Scheme.

Cllr Paul Miller, Cabinet Member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture, says the project’s focus on the river follows recognition that for too long, it has been an under-utilised resource despite being one of the town’s key natural assets.

“The Cleddau Reaches project brings together many ideas which the community has put forward over the last 20 years,” he said.

“As well as boosting biodiversity, the project forms part of the wider package of investments we are bringing forward to support Haverfordwest Town Centre.

“This administration is determined to revive the fortunes of the County Town, transforming Haverfordwest Town Centre from a traditional retail centre that’s being left behind into a vibrant leisure destination where residents and visitors alike want to spend their time.”

Some of the work currently taking place as part of the Cleddau Reaches project includes new riverbank paths near the Bridge Meadow with plans to create a new footbridge connecting to the Old Mill Grounds.

Other plans include creating habitats for sand-martins, otters and lampreys upriver, creating a trail linking up with the Town Council’s Priory Saltings project, and installing five interpretation boards along the route describing the flora, fauna and history of the local area.

The green wall planning application is currently registered with Pembrokeshire County Council for determination.

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Homes in Pembrokeshire can get free boilers and insulation

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PEMBROKESHIRE HERALD is teaming up with Blackburn based company Euro Insulation, who are working on a Pembrokeshire County Council backed energy scheme called the ECO: Help to Heat programme.

The scheme intends to utilise government funding for the reduction of fuel poverty within the county.

The council says that it has worked for many years to improve homes locally, and is keen for as many households to sign up as possible.

The local authority is working with ECO energy installers.

Funding is only available for private owner occupiers and private rented tenants. Qualification of flexible eligibility in Pembrokeshire will be determined by certain criteria.

Grants are available to a range of households including those with someone aged over 60, with a child under 5, and homes with children in primary or secondary school, or with a pregnant mother.

The Pembrokeshire Herald is letting as many homeowners know as possible about the scheme and has a call centre open to take queries on behalf of Euro Insulation who will be doing the work.

The aim is to reduce C02 emissions and make homes more energy efficient in Wales.

They are with the Welsh Assembly Government to show homeowners how they can get a brand-new boiler, internal wall insulation and room-in-roof insulation

The funding is only available until December.

To be considered for a FREE boiler or INSULATION call our call centre on 01437 70 70 70

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Fishguard: Armed police presence at Fishguard port

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ARMED officers from Dyfed-Powys Police were on scene at the port in Fishguard this morning (Sept 18).

Border Force and the RNLI were involved in the operation, which reportedly involved a vessel being escorted into the harbour.

Details of the incident are still unfolding, and the police have been contacted for a statement.

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