Senedd Bites #85: Prefered route for A40 upgrade chosen

(Title Image: Welsh Government, Crown Copyright)

Prefered route for £20million A40 upgrade decided

The Welsh Government has chosen a route for another upgrade to the key A40 road in Pembrokeshire, which will pass to the north of Narberth.

The road, which will have a 2+1 lane configuration to aid overtaking, will run south of the existing A40. Work is expected to start in summer 2021 – barring a public inquiry – and is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

New WLGA Leader appointed

The leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Labour’s Cllr. Andrew Morgan, has been appointed as the new leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA) following the previous leader Debbie Wilcox’s move to the House of Lords.

He said: “It is a huge honour to be elected Leader of the WLGA. The past decade has been challenging for local government, but councils have shown leadership and worked to ensure our local communities have been well served and vital local services have been maintained.”

Wales should “lead the way” on reducing environmental harm from 3G pitches

The Welsh Government have been urged by environmental groups to consider ways to reduce the environmental damage caused by 3G sports pitches, which use rubber tyre crumb as infill for the artificial surfaces.

It’s said up to five tonnes of rubber infill is lost from 3G sports pitches annually, making its way into watercourses.

Call for a new voting method to aid the partially-sighted

Disability campaigners have called for changes to the method used by blind and partially-sighted voters, who currently rely on another person telling them where to mark their vote – even when using a tactile voting system.

Dan Thomas told ITV Wales: “The technology is there to enable us to do loads of things like grocery shopping, check our emails and banking online – why isn’t it there to enable us to vote?”

The UK Government said: “We understand that the Tactile Voting Device works well for some voters with sight loss but not all, so we are already working with the Royal National Institute of Blind People to develop alternative options for the long-term.”

Two buyers interested in Newport Orb steelworks

Two companies are reportedly interested in buying Tata Steel’s Orb works in Newport, which is currently in the process of being mothballed.

Liberty Steel – which already operates a steelworks in the city – and American company Big River City Steel are reported by BBC Wales to be considering purchasing the plant, which specialises in producing electrical steels for the automotive industry.

Converting the plant to make electrical steel for the electric vehicle industry has been mooted as a possible future for the site, but converting it could cost up to £50million.