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Carmarthenshire

New 20mph speed limit being introduced in large area of Llanelli from 20 August

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A new 20mph speed limit is being introduced in a large area of Llanelli as part of a Welsh Government rollout to reduce the national default speed limit.

Llanelli North, which covers Dafen, some parts of Felinfoel and the Llanerch area, has been chosen as one of eight communities in Wales to trial a reduced national speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets.

Evidence shows that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and reduces the severity of injuries, and in particular, where 20mph limits are introduced, there is a reduction in the number of casualties.

Lower speed limits also encourage people to be more active within the neighbourhood, leading to healthier lifestyles, creating a better environment and quality of life.

New 20mph signs are being put up throughout the area to inform drivers of the reduced speed limit from August 20.

Carmarthenshire Council Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans said: “Slower speeds benefits the community in a number of ways, not only does it reduce the number of collisions and casualties on our roads, but it has a positive impact on our overall wellbeing and the local environment.

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“It makes our roads safer encouraging alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling, and with fewer vehicles on the road, it will have a positive impact on the environment.

“Streets will be quieter, our neighbourhoods will be more pleasant, with people more likely to stop and chat and use local shops and facilities, all together creating stronger and happier communities to live in.”

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Residents and businesses in the Llanelli North area will receive a newsletter providing more information. Banners and posters will also be going up throughout the community and the council say their road safety team will be working closely with schools in the area to promote walking and cycling. They will also continue to offer cycle and pedestrian skills training to primary school pupils.

Further initiatives and events are being planned over the next few months as part of the campaign.

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If Welsh Government goes ahead with the proposal to reduce the default speed limit to 20mph, Wales will become the first region in the UK to bring in the change.

It is being rolled out in eight communities across Wales to gather data and develop a best practice approach before the proposed full rollout in 2023. The other areas are St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire, Abergavenny, Central North Cardiff, Severnside in Monmouthshire, Buckley in Flintshire, Cilfrew in Neath Port Talbot, and St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan.

Welsh Government Minister for Climate Change, Julie James said: “Slower speed limits save lives, the evidence is clear. By making 20mph the default speed limit on busy pedestrian streets and in residential areas across Wales we can make our streets a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, and help create a positive impact on our environment.

“Llanelli is the latest of eight communities that will be trialling the new reduced speed limit ahead of a full rollout in 2023.”

Welsh Government has launched a consultation for people to have their say on the proposal, to submit your views visit the consultations section on the Welsh Government website before October 1.

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Ammanford

Man who filmed rape on Ammanford victim’s phone changes plea mid trial

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A man who filmed himself raping an Ammanford woman on his victim’s phone has changed his plea to guilty midway through his trial.

Cameron Hassan, aged 31, of no fixed abode, attacked the woman, raping her as she slept on 21 August 2021.

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Hassan had been on trial at Swansea Crown Court after denying any wrongdoing. However, after the jury was shown the video of the attack and hearing the victim was going to give evidence yesterday (Tuesday, 10 May), Hassan changed his plea to guilty.

Investigating Officer DC Sophie Lambert from Dyfed Powys Police said the victim had shown great strength and determination throughout the investigation.

“I must commend her tremendous courage in coming forward and the tenacity shown throughout the investigation,” she said.

“We hope this case demonstrates that Dyfed-Powys Police acts on serious allegations such as rape and sexual assault with officers working tirelessly to secure justice for victims.

“If you are suffering because of similar abuse, please contact the police, or if you would rather speak to someone in confidence, New Pathways are an independent charity that will support you through every step of the investigation.”

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New Pathways can be contacted at 01685 379 310 or email enquiries@newpathways.org.uk

(Lead image: Google Maps)

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Carmarthenshire

Women’s Tour of Britain returns to Carmarthenshire

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The countdown is on before the world’s top women riders will race through Carmarthenshire as part of the Women’s Tour of Britain.

Some 108 cyclists will race through the County to the finishing line on top of the Black Mountain between Llangadog and Brynamman as part of the stage five event on Friday, June 10.

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The route will be starting from Pembrey Country Park at 10.45am and riders competing for the title will go through Pinged, Carway, Pontyberem, Horeb, Llansawel, and Llangadog.

A rolling road closure will take place along the 65-mile route which will come into action at 10.45am until 1.50pm.

Roads will be re-opened once the cyclists have passed through. A full road closure will be in place over the Black Mountain from 5am-5pm.

The event will be broadcast on ITV4 and across Europe with a helicopter camera crew following the race.

The Women’s Tour departs on Monday, June 6, and coincides with the final day of a four-day Bank Holiday weekend in the UK to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee. The race will culminate with a prestigious finale six days later on Saturday, June 11.

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Pembrey Country Park previously hosted the Grand Départ of the men’s Tour of Britain as well as the overall finish of the Women’s Tour in 2019.

Carmarthenshire County Council’s Chief Executive, Wendy Walters said: “We are thrilled that we have again been chosen to host this top cycling event. Previous years have brought an immediate economic boost to the tourism sector as well as providing a great deal of positive media coverage.”

(Lead image: Carmarthenshire Council)

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Dyfed Powys Police

Man banned from driving for 12 months for fishing offence

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A man from Merthyr Tydfil who travelled to the River Loughor, near Llanelli to fish using a barbaric and illegal method, has been banned from driving for 12 months as part of his sentence.

Vu Quang Tien pleaded guilty to an illegal fishing charge and also to a charge of obstruction of a Natural Resources Wales (NRW) Fisheries Enforcement Officer on 26 April at Swansea Magistrates Court.

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Mr Tien and two other anglers were witnessed by NRW Fisheries Enforcement Officers deliberately using the illegal foul hooking method of fishing – also known as snatching – at the river Loughor on 15 August 2021. NRW officers attended the site after several reports of illegal fishing were made to NRW’s 24/7 incident call centre by concerned members of the community.

When approached and questioned by NRW officers, Mr Tien and his accomplices showed significant hostility and reluctance to share identification documents which eventually had to be extracted by use of reasonable force.

All of Mr Tien’s fishing tackle and fish, along with his associates’ fishing tackle was seized by NRW Officers at the time of the incident. The district judge on the day at Swansea Magistrates Court gave permission to NRW to confiscate these items permanently from each of them.

The District Judge disqualified Mr Tien from driving for 12 months due to seriousness of the incident, and the premeditated and deliberate action of travelling such a distance to commit the offence.

He was also ordered to pay a total of £2,334 in fines, NRW costs and a victim surcharge.

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Mark Thomas, Fisheries Enforcement Officer for NRW, said: “We would like to again thank Dyfed Powys Police, the local communities and also the law-abiding anglers in the area for their continued support in reporting these illegal fishing activities.

“Foul hooking is a truly barbaric form of fishing carried out by a small minority of anglers in Wales, who have no regard for fish welfare.

“NRW and the Police take these incidents seriously as do the courts.

“Hopefully, the small minority of anglers who may in future, think of using any illegal fishing methods will take heed of the heavy fines and driving ban in this case issued by the courts.”

(Lead image: Natural Resources Wales)

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