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Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales reinforces essential travel only message

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Transport for Wales is reinforcing the Welsh Government’s message urging people to make only essential journeys while alert level four restrictions are in place.

The Welsh Government introduced stay-at-home measures from midnight on Sunday (20 December) and during this period people can only travel if their journey is essential.

This includes for reasons such as to go to work where it is not possible to work from home, for education, essential shopping or medical needs, or to provide care to a vulnerable person.

Restrictions around travel will be removed on Christmas Day but TfW is reminding customers there are no rail services on December 25 and 26, as is standard across the industry every year.

James Price, Transport for Wales CEO said: “The safety of our customers and colleagues is our top priority at Transport for Wales and we fully support Welsh Government in moving to alert level four to help reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

“During the restriction period, public transport will be for essential travel only and we’ll be running fewer services.

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“For those who do need to make essential journeys, it’s vital customers plan ahead and check the timetable for any changes.”

More information can be found at http://www.trc.cymru/travel-safer. Information about bus services over the Christmas period can be found at www.traveline.cymru/christmas-travel 


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Haverfordwest

“Inspirational” Haverfordwest station retailer celebrates 60 years’ service

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A station retailer who has clocked up 60 years’ service has been praised as “an inspirational member of the railway family” by Transport for Wales.

Jimmy Summons, who runs the newspaper kiosk at Haverfordwest station in Pembrokeshire, began his career in the days of steam trains whistling past to meet the ferry at Fishguard when he was just 16-years old in 1961.

Over the years he’s seen Richard Burton, Prince Charles and Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II at the station and has served Lord Snowdon and Soldier Soldier actor Jerome Flynn.

And just a month short of his 77th birthday, Jimmy says he has no plans to retire yet.

“My cat wakes me up at 4:45am and I head down to make tea and get the papers ready,” says Jimmy, who has lived in the town his whole life.

“I’ll deliver to my customers around the town before coming down to the station to meet the early train.

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“I love it because you never know who might walk through those doors or where they might be going, but I try to treat them all the same.”

Jimmy outside Haverfordwest Train Station (Image: Transport for Wales)

Having left school at 15, Jimmy worked with his brother before taking on the kiosk with a permit from John Menzies to sell newspapers, books and tobacco in the same year President John F Kennedy was inaugurated in the USA.

It was the last days of steam, before the Beeching axe had fallen on railways across Wales, and Haverfordwest had a much larger team managing parcels and wages from the site.

“We had some brilliant times over the years,” said Jimmy.

“I’ll always remember my good friends Dai Havard and Jimmy Morgan. The railway staff used to look after me when I was a youngster first starting and I’ve always loved being a part of things here. We’ve had plenty of fun over the years though there have been a few memorable moments.

“Once, many years ago, we had a parcel trolley fall on the line and I had to jump down with the rest of the boys and help get it up again before the train came through. Another time I had to warn the guard that a lorry had hit the railway bridge up ahead.

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“Richard Burton came in while he was filming Under Milk Wood in Fishguard and got the train back to London, though sadly we didn’t see Elizabeth Taylor.

“We’ve had all the royals through over the years and I remember waving to Prince Charles and getting a wave back when they were off to an occasion at Picton Castle.”

Jimmy has clocked up 60 years working as a retailer at Haverfordwest Train Station (Image: Transport for Wales)

Jimmy has been married to his beloved wife Lorraine, 74, for many years and she too is still working, in a residential home, despite being older than some of the people she looks after.

He stopped selling cigarettes several years ago and has seen the book trade diminish over the years.

“Not as many people seem to like reading on their journey any more, which is quite sad. They all seem to be on their phones or iPads. But it’s nice that a lot of my older customers have started coming back after Covid and the papers are picking up more.

Transport for Wales Station Manager James Nicholas said: “Jimmy really is part of the fabric here at Haverfordwest and all our customers and colleagues think the world of him.

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“The fact he’s up so early every day and is still working so hard to provide such a great service for our customers even after 60 years is phenomenal and he really is an inspirational member of our railway family. Thank you for all the hard work Jimmy and here’s to many more years at Haverfordwest.”

(Lead image: Transport for Wales)

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Charity

Transport for Wales support for Alzheimer’s Society Cymru is on track

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Transport for Wales (TfW) has unveiled a new design on one of its flagship trains in support for the Alzheimer’s Society.

Members of the public, via the TfW Twitter account, voted for three charities it would like to see the organisation support by branding a number of its trains. 

The charities chosen were Tŷ Gobaith (children’s hospice services), RNLI (lifeboat charity) and Alzheimer’s Society Cymru (dementia charity).

The Alzheimer’s Society train was officially launched this week (27 September) to coincide with September being World Alzheimer’s month.

A set of TfW’s newly introduced Mark IV carriages have been wrapped in the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru eye-catching brand, with bilingual information where more information about the charity and dementia can be easily found.  As the branded train makes it way around the Wales and borders network, it is believed the potential audience for the newly branded train runs into the hundreds of thousands, especially as more and more people are returning to travel on trains.

TfW is already a supporter of the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru and supports the charity’s Dementia Friends initiative. Dementia Friends information sessions are designed to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. 

Details of the Dementia Friends information sessions are included in TfW’s staff induction programme and staff are encouraged to become Dementia Friends.  Once staff have attended an information session (online or in person) they can wear an Alzheimer’s Society Dementia Friends badge on their lanyard. Customers can then see they have a greater understanding of dementia, which can benefit those with dementia or those travelling with someone with dementia.

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TfW’s Director of People and Change, Bethan Jelfs, said:“We are extremely pleased to be supporting the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru.  Those involved at the charity give so much to those reaching out for support, be it on the telephone, online or face to face.

“I look forward to seeing the Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Mark IV train running across our network and am very glad that we can promote them and their key messages to a large audience.”

Sue Phelps – Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Country Director, commented: “We’re delighted that members of the public have voted to have our logo and information on the Transport for Wales Alzheimer’s Society Cymru Mark IV train. What a fantastic and unique way to raise awareness of dementia which affects 45,000 people in Wales. People affected by dementia have been worst hit by the pandemic. Alzheimer’s Society support services have been a lifeline, used over six million times since March 2020, showing we are needed more than ever.

“Whoever you are, whatever you are going through, you can turn to Alzheimer’s Society Cymru for help and advice. Alzheimer’s Society’s Dementia Connect support line (Welsh speaking line 0330 947 400/English speaking line 0333 150 3456) is open seven days a week providing information, advice and emotional support to anyone affected by dementia, or you can visit www.alzheimers.org.uk.”

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(Lead image: TfW)

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Police and Crime

New railway company scheme helps put former prisoners on the right track

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Transport for Wales is launching a scheme that they say will help rehabilitate people and provide them with an opportunity to change their life. 

‘Building Futures – On the right track’ is a partnership pilot scheme that will provide a chance for up to ten people in prison to work on the new South Wales Metro project and be based in the heart of the valleys at Treforest Infrastructure Hub.  

The scheme that hopes to provide relevant vocational experience and change the outlook on life for people is a TfW partnership made up of ARC – Making the difference, HMP Prescoed, Coleg y Cymoedd, Amey Infrastructure Wales, and TfW’s Infrastructure delivery partners, Alun Griffiths Contractors, Balfour Beatty Rail and Siemens Mobility.  

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change launched the new scheme and said: “The South Wales Metro project is not simply a transport project, it’s about changing the lives of people in the south Wales valleys and beyond. This excellent project is a great example of investment in tackling climate change has far broader benefits for communities.” 

Karl Gilmore, TfW Rail Infrastructure Director added: “At TfW, we are closely aligned with the Well-being of Future Generations Act (2015) and are fully committed to equality and diversity.  We are pleased to launch our ‘Building Futures – On the right track’ programme today as it allows us to use our South Wales Metro infrastructure development programme as a way of helping to rehabilitate people.  It allows us to work with our Alliance partners to provide a rehabilitation scheme that will hopefully offer offenders a brighter and more successful future.”  

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