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New bus services announced by Pembrokeshire County Council

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A NUMBER of changes to local bus services will be introduced in the coming weeks as a result of a shake up to bus funding. 

From April 2024, the funding which has been provided directly to bus operators by the Welsh Government to keep services going in the wake of the Covid pandemic will cease. 

Additional funding will instead be provided to Local Authorities to support their local bus network.

In total, Pembrokeshire County Council and the Welsh Government will provide over £3million in support for bus services in Pembrokeshire during the coming year.

As part of this process, all Pembrokeshire’s local bus services have been re-tendered. 

A public consultation, receiving over 300 responses, helped to inform decisions about which services should be prioritised. 

Councillor Rhys Sinnett, Pembrokeshire County Council Cabinet Member for Residents’ Services said: “I am delighted to be able to report that we are able to maintain the whole of Pembrokeshire’s current local bus network in the coming year.

“We have also secured key improvements such as reinstating an hourly service on the 349 route between Haverfordwest and Tenby via Pembroke Dock, and the popular Strumble Shuttle and Puffin Shuttle coastal bus services during the summer.”

The changes will also see two key services, the 302 Haverfordwest to Milford Haven and 349 Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock, brought under Council oversight for the first time. 

This will give the Council greater oversight of service operations and fares.  Pembrokeshire residents will also benefit from a new fare structure on all First Cymru services, due to be introduced from 1 April 2024. 

This will use Tap On Tap Off to allow passengers to pay the cheapest fare depending on the number of journeys they make or distance travelled, and will cap the maximum adult fare at £3 single and £5.40 return. 

More information about these fares can be found on the First Cymru website

A number of additional service changes and improvements are being considered for introduction during the course of the coming year in response to feedback received from the public consultation.  

The following bus service changes have been confirmed:

From 23 March 2024:

  • The Celtic Coaster (403) on the St Davids peninsular will restart for the 2024 season on Saturday 23 March and will run until Sunday 29 September. This is an hourly service, increasing to half-hourly during the whitsun half term and school summer holidays. There will be no service departing Caerfai Road at 13.00 and 13.30.
  • The 351 (Tenby to Pendine via Amroth) will return to its summer timetable.

From 1 April 2024

  • An hourly service will return on the 349 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock) service (April to September only).
  • The 356 (Milford Haven to Monkton) service will no longer call at Waterston and Hazelbeach due to operational issues caused by the narrow lanes in this area. The Fflecsi service will still be available.
  • A Saturday service, between 07:30 and 18:30, will be reintroduced in the Fflecsi Mid Pembrokeshire zone (formerly known as Bwcabus). This zone covers the area between Letterston, Crymych, Clunderwen and Wiston.  Passengers can also travel from this zone to Fishguard and Haverfordwest. 
  • The 302 (Haverfordwest to Milford Haven) and 349 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Pembroke Dock) services operated by First Cymru will come under Pembrokeshire County Council control, giving the Council greater oversight of service operations and fares.
  • The 322 (Haverfordwest to Carmarthen) and 381 (Haverfordwest to Tenby via Narberth) services will be run by First Cymru. The 322 timetable will remain the same. The 381 timetable will remain the same from Haverfordwest to Tenby but journeys from Tenby to Haverfordwest will depart slightly earlier (37 past the hour instead of 45).
  • The X22 and X61 services which provided journeys at the start and end of the day between Pembroke Dock and Kilgetty, and Pembroke Dock and Haverfordwest will be withdrawn.
  • The 410 (Fishguard Town) and T11 (Haverfordwest to Fishguard via St Davids) services will be operated on a commercial (T11 part commercial) basis by Richards Bros. An improved connection with the ferry at Fishguard Harbour will be provided at 12.30.

From 19 May 2024

  • The Tenby Coaster service between Tenby and Saundersfoot will return for the summer season.

From 25 May 2024

  • The 400 Puffin Shuttle and 404 Strumble Shuttle services will return to the coast between Marloes and St Davids, and St Davids and Fishguard. These services will operate 7 days a week until 29 September 2024.  The Fflecsi service is also available in this area throughout the year.
  • The 387/388 Coastal Cruiser service around the Angle Peninsula will also return to its summer timetable, operating 7 days a week until 29th September 2024.

Further information about all Pembrokeshire bus services can be found on the Council’s website.

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Charity

RNLI prepare for summer with medical training exercise in Pembrokeshire

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RNLI lifeguards from the north Pembrokeshire team, volunteers from St Davids RNLI and St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team came together at Whitesands beach on Thursday (18 April), for a multi-agency medical training exercise. Pembrokeshire RNLI lifeguards and St Davids volunteer lifeboat crew took part in a multi-agency medical training exercise alongside St Davids Coastguard Rescue Team in preparation for the upcoming summer season.

The Coastal Medicine programme was set up six years ago at the suggestion of clinicians from Hywel Dda University Health Board. The aim of the programme is train lifeguards, lifeboat crews and HM Coastguard teams in working collaboratively when responding to medical incidents on the coast.

Clinicians from Hywel Dda work with RNLI staff to design exercises simulating mass-casualty incidents on land and afloat. The exercises allow lifeguards, lifeboat crews and Coastguard teams to practise and test their rescue response and casualty care.

The simulated incident at Whitesands involved a medical incident at sea leading to a boat going out of control and ploughing through a group of swimmers causing multiple injuries. RNLI lifeguards responded to casualties on the beach while St Davids inshore and all-weather lifeboat crews dealt with the situation at sea. St Davids Coastguard Rescue supported RNLI colleagues as they would in a real-life scenario.

In total there were six casualties to treat, all of whom were given the immediate medical care by the teams on scene. As in a real-life scenario, they were then prepared to be handed over to the care of the Ambulance Service.

Roger Smith, RNLI Area Lifesaving Manager said: ‘The scenario was based on a real-life incident, it’s so important that we train in dealing with challenging situations.

‘The RNLI lifeguards, lifeboat crew, and the Coastguard rescue team worked really well together collaborating together to achieve the best possible result.

‘The feedback from all the participants was really positive, and our medical colleagues were very complimentary about the competence shown and the inter-agency co-operation.

‘This scenario training gives confidence to our lifeguards and lifeboat crews, and ensures the teamwork and communication is already in place ready for real-life incidents.’

Martin Charlton, an RNLI lifeguard in north Pembrokeshire said:

‘Last night’s exercise was a great opportunity for me and my colleagues on the lifeguard team to upskill ahead of the summer season.

‘We regularly attend incidents in the season that require a multi-agency response. These scenarios are a brilliant opportunity to prepare for the the most challenging situations.

‘The team and I thoroughly enjoyed the exercise and feel better prepared for the season as a result.

‘It’s always a pleasure working alongside the Coastguard rescue team and the lifeboat as one crew.’

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Crime

Brian Davis: Wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary

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POLICE are appealing for information to find Brian Davis, from the Pembroke Dock area.
The 53-year-old is wanted on suspicion of commercial burglary and fail to appear at court.
Have you seen Brian, or do you have information that might help us find him? Please, let the police know:
🖥️ | https://orlo.uk/wr13X
📧 | [email protected]
💬 | Direct message us on social media
📞 | 101
Alternatively, contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously by calling 0800 555111, or visiting crimestoppers-uk.org.
Quote reference: BRC818624

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Business

1,000 thefts a day: Labour calls for more support for high streets

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SHOCK analysis by the Labour Party has revealed more than 1,000 shoplifting offences are being committed across England and Wales every day – equating to an offence almost every minute of the day.

Yet separate Freedom of Information requests submitted by the party to police forces suggest that charges have fallen by a quarter over the past five years.

Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, Henry Tufnell, was out visiting local businesses in Tenby last week (April 19) to hear about the challenges presented by shoplifting and anti-social behaviour.

Henry Tufnell, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Mid and South Pembrokeshire, said: “Pembrokeshire relies upon local businesses to grow our local economy, support jobs, and drive tourism. Today’s stats are clear: the Conservatives have lost control.

“Labour has a plan to ensure our town centres are a safe, enjoyable place for Pembrokeshire residents to spend time in. Coupled with the Welsh Labour Government’s Transforming Towns scheme, which will provide £27 million by 2025 in South West Wales towards funding projects to regenerate and support our town centres, Labour’s priority is breathing life back into our high streets.”

Philippa Thompson, Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Dyfed Powys Police, joined with members of the Co-operative Party and USDAW, the Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers, to campaign for stronger protections for retail workers.

Today’s announcement comes shortly after the UK government finally committed to introduce a new offence for assault of a retail worker, which Labour, the Co-op and USDAW have called for, for more than a decade.

Labour’s Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Dyfed Powys Police, Philippa Thompson, said:

“A Labour Government in Westminster means we’ll see more police on the streets, a crackdown on anti-social behaviour, and on retail crime. As a Labour & Co-operative Party candidate, today I am campaigning with USDAW to strengthen protections for retail workers against the assault and abuse they face at work.

It has taken the Conservatives ten years to heed what Labour, the Co-operative Party and USDAW have been saying, and introduce a specific offence for assault of a retail worker. The Tories have run out of steam and run out of ideas, and it’s time for a change. Only Labour can deliver that change.”

Since September, Labour has been calling for the Tories to scrap their Shoplifter’s Charter, which is leaving criminals to steal with impunity.

The rule, brought in by Theresa May in 2014, introduced a new category of ‘low-value shoplifting’ to describe theft of goods worth under £200 and has led to police deprioritising enforcement in these cases – even where there are repeat offences or organised shoplifting. This has left businesses and retail workers at the mercy of criminals.
 
Alongside removing the Tories’ £200 rule, Labour has vowed to put 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs back on the streets and introduce a Community Policing Guarantee to tackle shoplifting.

Yvette Cooper MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary, said: “Under the Tories too many communities and high streets are being blighted by staggering increases in shoplifting, but charge rates are going down. That means more criminals are getting away with it and more local businesses are paying the price.
 
“The Conservative government has decimated neighbourhood policing, leaving our town centres unprotected, and they are still refusing to get rid of the £200 rule, which is encouraging repeat offending and organised gangs of shoplifters.
 
“Labour will scrap the Tories’ Shoplifter’s Charter and bring in a Community Policing Guarantee, with 13,000 more neighbourhood police and PCSOs to crackdown on shoplifting and keep the public safe.”

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