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Assurances sought on railway electrification



Delays expected: No firm timescale given for rail electrification

Delays expected: No firm timescale given for rail electrification

FOLLOWING delays to the electrification of the Great Western Railway as far as Swansea, which was originally meant to have been completed in 2018, Jonathan Edwards has called for the Westminster Government to give a firm commitment and timescale for completing this work.

Mr Edwards’ call came after Transport Secretary Chris Grayling avoided giving a commitment at the Conservative party conference this weekend. Mr Grayling spoke about wanting new trains on the line but said it would be ‘jumping the gun’ to discuss electrification to Swansea.

The target date for electrification reaching Cardiff was originally 2017, and 2018 for Swansea.

A Network Rail report in November last year said the upgrade between Cardiff and Swansea would fall into its next five year plan, covering 2020 to 2024.

This week, the Transport Secretary said: “We are a way away from completing the link to Cardiff, which has got to be the first priority.” He added that new trains on the route will be ‘better capacity, more comfortable, modern trains before we get onto the next phase of the projects’.

Plaid Cymru’s Jonathan Edwards said new trains would not compensate for the ‘glacial pace of work and the continuous changing of deadlines’. He called on the Transport Secretary to give a firm and final commitment to when West Wales residents can expect full electrification.

Carmarthen East and Dinefwr MP Jonathan Edwards said: “Another year goes by and it seems another commitment on delivering full electrification to Swansea has gone out the window. It’s time the Tories stopped moving the goalposts and put all possible resources into actually honouring its pledge.

“The timetable for electrification to Swansea has already been delayed by a potential six years. To have the Transport Secretary avoiding commitments on the later deadline is an insult.

“It’s all well and good talking about new trains, but that won’t compensate for the glacial pace of work and the continuous changing of deadlines.

“Delivering full electrification of the Great Western Mainline was one of the very few manifesto promise the Tories gave to the people of West Wales. They should now give a firm and final commitment to when we can expect full electrification.”

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Councillors elected to Haverfordwest Town Council



The declaration of results for by-elections to two Haverfordwest Town Council Wards
are available on the Pembrokeshire County Council website.

The elections to the Priory and Portfield Wards took place on September 19 th , 2023.

Cllr Peter Lewis and Cllr Tasha Jones were elected to the Priory Ward and Cllr Roy
Thomas to the Portfield Ward.

Returning Officer Will Bramble made the declaration of results at the Picton Centre,
Haverfordwest, following the closure of polls and counting.

The full declarations are available on the election results page of the Council’s

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Ben Lake launches election campaign at Crymych



BEN LAKE launched his election campaign at Crymych Rugby Club last Thursday and met with a packed room of supporters to outline his priorities as Plaid Cymru’s candidate for the new Ceredigion Preseli seat.

Ben Lake has represented Ceredigion in Westminster since 2017, increasing his majority in the 2019 election to 6,329 votes.

The new Ceredigion Preseli seat extends from Cardigan to Llanrhian along the Pembrokeshire coast, and includes the inland wards of Crymych, Clydau, Maenclochog and Cilgerran.

After the launch, Ben Lake said:

“I am grateful to all who joined me at Crymych Rugby Club last night and am truly humbled by everyone’s support.

“My priorities were I to be elected as the Member of Parliament for Ceredigion Preseli are clear – a fair deal for rural communities, investment in infrastructure and increased funding for public services, and a thriving, sustainable economy that has the needs of communities rather than those of large corporations as its focus.

“I look forward to getting to know more people and communities across north Pembrokeshire over the next few months whilst also continuing to serve the communities of Ceredigion to the best of my ability. I will do my utmost to convince the people of this wonderful new constituency of Ceredigion Preseli that I am worthy of their support.”

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Petition calling for scrapping of new 20mph speed limit at 150,000 signatures



A SENEDD petition calling for the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the 20mph law, has now passed 150,000 signatures, a Senedd petition record The Herald understands.

The previous record called for non-essential items to be sold in supermarkets during the firebreak lockdown.

As of Sunday (September 17), 30mph roads have been reduced to 20mph where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists. It is thought around 13,000km of road will be affected.

The move has proved controversial with a poll for ITV Wales revealed this week that just 31% of people support the policy, while 66% are opposed to it.

The Welsh Government says research shows that changes will reduce pollution and fatal crashes.

In response to the news of record breaking numbers of people supporting the petition in Wales, the Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS said: “For more than 150,000 people to sign a petition within such a short space of time highlights the extent of public outrage towards Labour’s disastrous policy. Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda. Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales.

“With little to no consultation from the public, the people of Wales are using this petition to send a clear message to Labour in Cardiff Bay – they have had enough of this socialist agenda and are tired of being dictated to.”

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