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Cleddau Bridge tolls have ended this afternoon

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THE CLEDDAU BRIDGE  is now free for motorists.

Charges end today (28 March), on what was Wales’ last remaining toll bridge.

As previously reported, Pembrokeshire County Council made a deal with The Welsh Government to cover the cost of running the bridge.

The Council has now received written confirmation it will get £3m a year for maintenance costs and loss of income.

A one-off payment by the Welsh Government for staffing changes and the cost of removing toll booths has also been agreed.

There has been a toll to cross the Cleddau Bridge – originally called The Milford Haven Bridge – since it opened on March 20, 1975, linking the north and south of the county.

Chris Thomos, (Left), Paul Miller (Central) and Darren Thomas (Right)

Paul Miller, cabinet member for Economy, Tourism, Leisure and Culture was in attendance to mark the official closure of the toll’s which he hailed as “historic”.

“This is undoubtedly a good day for our County” said Councillor Miller.

“I have said many times that the bridge tolls have been an unwelcome barrier to trade across the haven waterway. Removing this impediment represents a really positive development for the people of Pembrokeshire.

“From now on individuals who need to cross the bridge everyday will save at least £6 a week on their crossings. That could easily add up to an extra £270 a year in local people’s pockets.

“On top of that, the revenue lost to the Council will be replaced by a £3 million a year grant from the Welsh Government.”

Councillor Miller paid tribute to the toll collection staff for their years of service.

“I would like to thank them for their patience through what has been a difficult and trying time and I wish them the very best for the future.”

The Council has also made arrangements for bridge users with unused books of tickets to claim refunds.

“I am delighted that we have been able to do this” said Councillor Miller. “It was important to ensure no-one lost out financially from having bought tickets in advance. Everyone who has done so will be refunded.”

The Council has started to consider arrangements for the permanent removal of the canopy and booths. The aim is to have the former plaza area fully reconfigured by the end of August.

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Re-opening of indoor hospitality and attractions at Milford Waterfront

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RESTAURANTS and indoor visitor attractions in Milford Waterfront are welcoming the return of indoor services from today.

The re-opening of indoor dining allows all restaurants at Milford Waterfront to seat customers indoors. As well as all restaurants on the Waterfront now being able to offer this service, the brand-new Foam Domes overlooking the Milford Haven Waterway are able to open, with bookings being taken from the 19th May.

Indoor visitor attractions are also allowed to re-open. This includes the Waterfront Gallery, which is open today and Phoenix Bowl & Pirate Pete’s Adventure Play which is making preparations to open from Wednesday 19th May. Also, Milford Museum, which has had a new rendered exterior finish, is preparing to open for the end of May.

Lucy Wonnacott, Marketing Manager for Milford Waterfront commented: “We are delighted to see the re-opening of indoor hospitality and visitor attractions here at Milford Waterfront. Each business has their own safety and social distancing measures in place and we kindly ask that you respect and adhere to these for your own safety, and that of others. We hope you enjoy your visit to Milford Waterfront and stay safe!”

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Newly elected Member of the Senedd completes first week in the role

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FOLLOWING on from the Welsh Parliamentary elections, the newly elected member for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, Samuel Kurtz MS, has reflected on his first week in his new role.

The election saw Samuel receive 11,240 votes from across the constituency, the largest number of votes for any Welsh Conservative candidate in the constituency for a Senedd election. It was a closely fought campaign which was conducted respecting Covid-19 restrictions.

Commenting after a busy first week, Sam said:

“It has certainly been a whirlwind. From the moment that the results were announced last Friday my feet haven’t touched the ground.

“After speaking with a number of local and national media outlets, I managed to spend some time with loved ones before heading up to the Senedd early on Monday morning to be sworn in.

“As a Welsh speaker, I was delighted to swear my oath bilingually and will ensure that I continue to do so when speaking in the chamber.

“I’m in the process of recruiting my staff and getting both my Senedd and Constituency office set up to ensure that I can continue the good work of my predecessor, Angela Burns, in standing up for the interest of all my constituents whether they voted for me or not.

“On Wednesday, we elected the Llywydd and Deputy Llywydd as well as confirming Mark Drakeford as the First Minister. As one of 19 new members across the chamber and nine Welsh Conservatives, the coming weeks will be spent learning the ropes and procedures in Cardiff Bay. Over the course of the campaign, I have picked up a several issues and pieces of  casework from across the constituency and will be ensuring that the constituency work is always my priority.

“As we emerge from the Covid restrictions and society begins to open back up I am looking forward to getting to every corner of the constituency, meeting more businesses and individuals.

“I am planning in making use of both modern and traditional methods of connecting with constituents, from email newsletters, social media platforms and virtual surgeries to doorstep surgeries and face to face meetings, to ensure I provide a strong voice in Cardiff Bay for this beautiful part of the country.”

Samuel is contactable via email on Samuel.kurtz@senedd.wales

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Fatality confirmed in school bus collision, say police

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A FATALITY has been confirmed in a collision involving a school bus and a car this morning (May 17).

The A478 near Llandissilio remains closed after a fatal crash while officers investigate.

The collision happened at around 8.30am as the bus was taking pupils to Ysgol y Preseli.

The bus involved in the fatal collision with another vehicle was the number 636, travelling on the Tenby to Crymych route.

Thirteen young people were hurt in the incident, with two being taken to hospital via ambulance with minor injuries.

Sadly the driver of the motorcar was pronounced dead at the scene.

The next of kin have been informed and are being supported by specialist officers.

A Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said: “Dyfed-Powys Police is at the scene of a serious collision on the A478 near Llandissilio in Pembrokeshire.

“The incident was reported to police at 8.35am, and the ambulance and fire services also attended.

“The collision involved a motorcar and a bus carrying school children.

“Sadly the driver of the motorcar died at the scene.

“Next of kin have been advised and are being supported by specialist officers.

“A number of children received minor injuries with two taken to hospital by ambulance with what are described as minor injuries.

“The road is currently closed while investigations continue.”

However, any parents and guardians of young people travelling on the 636 can also call the dedicated line set up by Pembrokeshire County Council: 01437 775400.

Only parents and guardians of the young people who were travelling on the 636 bus at the time of the incident are kindly requested to use the dedicated line above.

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