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Road Safety ‘Two Wheel’ campaign aims to reduce biker and cyclist injuries and deaths

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During 2019, 598 motorcyclists and 412 cyclists were killed or injured in collisions on Welsh roads.

From the 5th-18th April the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) and the National Roads Policing Operations Intelligence & Investigation (NRPOII) are coordinating a 2wheel operation road safety campaign, to improve road safety for motorcycles and cyclists.

According to Cycling Uk “we know that 62% of people in the UK consider cycling on the roads ‘too dangerous’.” One of the biggest threats to a cyclist’s safety whilst on the road is close passing. Not only are close passes really intimidating, but also dangerous with motorists passing too close to the cyclist a contributory factor in a staggering 25% of serious collisions between cyclists and large vehicles (Cycling UK).

Motorcyclists are among the most vulnerable groups of road users, and they are at a higher risk of injury and collision than other road users, with 7% of all Wales resident casualties on the roads of Wales in 2019 involving motorcyclists.

The new campaign urges road users to take care of motorcyclists and cyclist by remembering that cyclists can be difficult to see, especially at junctions, have a tendency to wobble, and are easily affected by side wind when being overtaken. They’re particularly vulnerable at roundabouts as they cannot move off very quickly.

Motorcyclists can also be difficult to see, especially at junctions; are often moving quicker than you might think. They can be affected by side wind, when being overtaken and are often injured when cars pull out of junctions

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The campaign aims to raise awareness among general motorists as well as riders about how to improve driver/rider behaviour to improve road safety as well as educating both drivers and riders about the dangers of not having the correct skills, knowledge and personal protective equipment to ride safely.

Alongside enforcement and engagement activities Police are promoting safety messages and tips with the aim of reducing the number of motorcyclists and pedal cyclists injured and killed on our roads.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager and Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “We all have the right to use the roads safely and confidently. If we all play our part and share the road responsibly by reacting responsibly and safely when sharing the road we can make every journey a safe journey for all road users, be they travelling on four wheels or two.

Let’s take care of each other on the roads and bring the level of two wheel casualties on the roads of Wales down.”


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Carmarthenshire

First Cymru announce changes to some bus services in August and September

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Regional bus operator First Cymru have announced some changes to their bus services in Swansea, Carmarthenshire and Pembrokeshire in August and September.

The changes include introducing new routes and rerouting others.

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In Carmarthenshire:

From Sunday 28 August, the X11 service is being rerouted in Burry Port at the request of the county council. The service will no longer run along Glanmor Terrace in the town, but will run along the coastal bypass before travelling past the new Ysgol Parc-y-Tywyn and joining the existing route along Church Road.

In Pembrokeshire:

The 302 service between Milford Haven and Hubberston to Haverfordwest and Withybush Hospital will be extended to run to Withybush Industrial Estate from Sunday 28 August.

The 349 service between Tenby and Haverfordwest will extend to Withybush Hospital from Sunday 28 August on the request of Pembrokeshire Council.

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In Swansea:

The Service 8 University bus between will see its frequency increased to every 30 minutes from Sunday 21 September due to university arrivals. Then from 25 September the service will revert to its University term timetable.

Also from 25 September a brand new Service 8A will run as a shuttle service between Hendrefoilan Student Village and the University’s Singleton Campus.

Service 9 and 9A will be merged from 25 September into a new Service 9 route providing a through-service between the University’s Singleton Campus and Bay Campus travelling via Swansea Bus Station and Fabian Way Park & Ride.

Service 10 will increase its frequency to run on its term time timetable, and a new Service 10A shuttle service will begin operating from Monday to Friday in the morning and afternoon peaks between the City Centre on Kingsway and Bay Campus. When combined with services 8 and 10, this will then provide a bus to the University campuses up to every 6 minutes.

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In Townhill and Mayhill, Services 11, 12 and 13 will see their routes changed slightly in the city centre from 25 September to run via Kingsway to provide another city centre stop. The timetable will also be altered slightly due to the new route.

In West Swansea, Service 20 to Derlwyn will see its some slight changes to its timetable, while Service 20A will no longer serve Wimmerfield Avenue in Killay.

Service 21A to Three Crosses will see it’s service number change to 21 instead. There will also be some slight changes to its timetable.

A new Service 23 is being introduced from 25 September which will operate hourly between Swansea and Killay running through Swansea University, Singleton Hospital and also Wimmerfield Avenue in Killay.

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Carmarthen

Fire Service in search for new Carmarthenshire firefighters

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Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service has launched a hunt for new firefighters to join its Carmarthenshire fire stations.

It’s looking for people who live within 10 minutes of fire stations in Carmarthen, Llandysul and Newcastle Emlyn to become On-Call firefighters.

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On-Call firefighters get paid to respond to emergencies. They do not staff the fire stations 24 hours a day, like full-time firefighters, but get notified of an emergency call via a personal pager, which they carry with them when they are on duty.

Most On-Call Firefighters have other jobs with an agreement from their employers to leave to attend an emergency call if required. Others are available outside typical working hours like evenings, weekends, or between school runs.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they’re looking for people wh consider themselves to be reasonably fit and healthy, who want to be of service to your local community.

They say applicants should be someone who can always be relied on to be somewhere on time, committed to maintaining your physical fitness, maintaining and developing your skills.

You should be someone who has the sensitivity to deal with members of the public when they are distressed, confused, or being obstructive, can get on with people from different backgrounds and cultures and work as part of a close-knit team.

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You should also be someone who works well under pressure, think on your feet and solve problems.

In return, if you become an On-Call Firefighter, Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service say they will provide all the training and support required to respond to emergency incidents such as property fires, road traffic collisions, and incidents involving flooding, rescues from height, and many other specialist emergency calls. You will also receive training to deliver Community Safety advice that will help keep people safe in their homes and communities.

In addition to having an exciting career, you will earn a salary-based pay and, from your induction day as an On-Call Firefighter, you will be able to contribute to the Firefighters Pension Scheme

The fire service say they work with local employers to release their staff to respond to emergency incidents.

To apply or for more information visit Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s website.

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(Lead image: Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service)

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Fashion students design sustainable leggings for Commonwealth Games thanks to Llanelli manufacturer

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Two Fashion Design students at the University of South Wales (USW) have designed leggings for Team Wales athletes – made from sustainable materials – to wear at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Bethan Jones and Olivia Soady, both in their final year, won a design competition set by Commonwealth Games Wales in partnership with USW.

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The students worked closely with Onesta, an award-winning sustainable clothing brand based in Llanelli, to bring their designs to life, and in total, Onesta manufactured 360 pairs of leggings for Team Wales.

They were officially revealed last week (Friday 1 July) when the Queen’s Baton Relay passed through Llanelli and stopped at the Onesta studio, where the baton-bearer, Wales Women’s rugby international Jasmine Joyce, modelled the Team Wales kit.

Onesta has only been trading since June 2020 but is already kitting out the likes of Rosie Eccles, Anwen Butten and Alys Thomas as they represented Wales at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

The collaborative project was developed with funding from the USW Exchange Partnership and Engagement Programme, which enables organisations to directly benefit from scoping and feasibility support, as well as access to USW’s academic expertise.

Following a brief from Team Wales, Bethan and Olivia’s designs focused heavily on sustainability, ensuring the leggings are practical, long-lasting and have a clear Welsh identity.

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Olivia said: “From the offset it was made very clear in the brief that these leggings were meant to be worn and to last, which is something that Bethan and I took into consideration throughout the design process. I’d read an article on all these amazing things which had originated in Wales, which gave me the idea of our country being small but mighty.”

Bethan and Olivia’s legging design
(Image: University of South Wales)

Bethan added: “Olivia and I both had a very similar concept. Mine was all about Welsh power symbols, and being proud to be Welsh, alongside the importance of sustainable production. So we merged those ideas together and got something very contemporary, which we’re really proud of. Being able to work on this project with Team Wales is such an exciting opportunity for me, and something which really aligns with my values as a person and as a designer.”

Owner and founder of Onesta, Gabriella Diana, said: “We are proud to have been selected as the manufacturer of casual leggings for Team Wales, designed in collaboration with USW students.

“Manufacturing in Wales not only lowers the carbon footprint of our clothing, but also puts money back into our local economy, strengthening industry here in the UK, and providing skilled jobs to local people and graduates. Plus, we know all our garments are made by happy hands.

“Working on this project with Team Wales has been really exciting, and we have loved being involved in developing sustainable sportswear for the Commonwealth Games.”

Stacey Grant-Canham, lecturer in Fashion Design at USW who worked with Bethan and Olivia on this project, said: “The designers are fully immersed in the industry from day one on the Fashion Design course here at USW; both taking advantage of our option of a year out in industry, they have the commercial awareness and creativity underpinned with a strong knowledge of circularity for fashion. It’s a real winning combination. The fact that they opted to collaborate is testament to the holistic way they see their place in this global industry too.”

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Bethan and Olivia’s legging design
(Image: University of South Wales)

Cathy Williams, Head of Engagement at Commonwealth Games Wales, added: “’The partnership between Commonwealth Games Wales and USW has become stronger and stronger over the past few years, and it’s great that once again we can bring in young and talented individuals like Bethan and Olivia to create something special for the team.

“We first ran this competition with USW for the Gold Coast 2018 Games, and we’ve built on that success, and we love seeing the athletes wearing the finished design.”

Chris Jenkins, CEO of Commonwealth Games Wales, said: ‘’Working alongside USW on such projects is really important for the organisation; not only does it provide a platform for young designers and university students to get a feel for the industry in the ‘real’ world, but for us, it opens up our support network to people who wouldn’t necessarily be drawn into sport.

“The Commonwealth Games is more than a sporting event – it’s an opportunity to bring in communities across the country and support Wales on a global platform. Congratulations to both designers, and I’d like to thank USW and Onesta for all their hard work.”

Since it commenced trading, over two years ago, Carmarthenshire County Council has supported Onesta, not only during the COVID-19 pandemic but also to realise the company’s long-term ambitions. In June 2021, Onesta was awarded an Economic Resilience Fund grant of £2,500 by Carmarthenshire County Council as support to cover the business bills during the COVID-19 restrictions of May and June 2021. They were also awarded a £2000 Non-Domestic Rates Grant during the COVID-19 support schemes in February 2022.

In April 2022, Onesta was awarded a Business Growth & Recovery Grant of £10,000 to assist with the purchase of manufacturing equipment and workshop and office furniture. The grant money will fund a cutting table, overlockers, cutting machine, industrial iron, industrial sewing machine and lockstitch, which would assist in the manufacturing of the clothing for the Wales Commonwealth Team for the 2022 Games.

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The company’s founder, Gabriella Diana, was nominated by the Council for the Wales Start Up Awards in 2021 in which she went on to win the Rising Star category.

Since then, Onesta has also won the Marie Claire Sustainability Award for Best Sustainable Small Brand 2021, UnLtd Social Entrepreneur Award, and was a finalist in the Cardiff Life Awards 2021 and the GBEA Awards 2021.  

Onesta was highly commended in the Heroes of Net Zero competition at a special awards ceremony, hosted by Intuit, at the COP26 international climate change summit in Glasgow. More than 160 businesses entered the competition, making a commitment at the UK Business Climate Hub to achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the government’s own climate commitment. They were highly commended in the micro business category for demonstrating a range of measures taken on their journey to net zero, including sourcing eco-friendly materials locally, removing toxic chemicals used in manufacturing and re-purposing fabric scraps to make sustainable products for Surfers Against Sewage.

Gabriella Diana, Founder and Owner of Onesta added: “I’m very grateful to Carmarthenshire County Council for the financial support we have received to, not only survive the COVID-19 restrictions but also to build the business and strive.”

Since launching the Business Growth & Start-Up Grant scheme in early 2022, Carmarthenshire County Council has approved 61 business grants to Carmarthenshire businesses. Of which 44 approvals were Business Growth & Recovery Grants, totalling £299,225.17 and 17 approvals were Business Start Up Grants, totalling £117,924.31.

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Cllr Gareth John, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Leisure Culture and Tourism said: “As a local authority, we are delighted to have been able to invest in Gabriella and her company to enable her to grow the business. We are also very proud to have provided financial support to Onesta, and other companies based in Carmarthenshire, to weather the difficult COVID-19 restrictions of the past two and a half years.

“We have all enjoyed watching Wales’ athletes compete at the recent Commonwealth Games and the fact that they are wearing a kit that is made in Carmarthenshire has been a source of much pride for Carmarthenshire County Council.”

(Lead image: University of South Wales)

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