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Swansea residents invited to railway drop-in event

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SWANSEA residents are invited to a drop-in event to find out more about upcoming upgrade work to the signalling system on the railway between Port Talbot and Swansea, as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan for Wales and Borders.

March 2-3 will see Network Rail engineers working hard to remove old signal structures in the Landore area of Swansea and to bring into use the new signalling equipment, which will make the railway more resilient and reliable for passengers. Buses will replace trains between Llanelli and Cardiff on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 March and rail passengers are urged to check before travelling at nationalrail.co.uk.

A drop-in event for residents and local businesses will take place on Wednesday February 6 from 3pm to 6pm in The Grand Hotel, Ivey Place, High Street, Swansea, SA1 1NX. No appointment is necessary and representatives from Network Rail’s project team will be on hand to provide information and answer any questions ahead of the work.

Mark Neate, project manager for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “We thank the local community for their patience while we carry out this essential upgrade work to the South Wales Mainline.

“We have been working closely with our partners to minimise disruption, including by ensuring this work did not take place during a Six Nations event. I would encourage anyone wishing to find out more about this work to come along to the drop-in.”

Colin Lea, director of customer experience at Transport for Wales, said: “This work on the south Wales mainline by our partners in Network Rail will help build a better, more reliable railway for the future on one of our key routes.
“We fully recognise that disruption is never welcome for customers and we thank them for their patience.

“Working closely with Network Rail we have sought to minimise the impact of this and we urge customers to check their journey details prior to travel.”

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Reports of men with weapons lead to four arrests

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FOUR men have been arrested after reports of people with Weapons in Swansea.

The report lead to large scale police presence in the Swansea suburb of Penlan on Friday afternoon.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing officers armed with shields, guns and sniffer dogs in Jeffreys Court.

Four men aged between 18 and 24, were escorted out of a building into police cars.

Three of those arrested have been released under investigation, with the fourth male released without charge.

All four arrested are believed to be from the Birmingham area.

Anybody with any information on the incident are being urged to come forward.

A spokesperson for the police said: “South Wales Police received reports of male in possession of weapons in Jeffreys Court, Penlan at around 1.25pm on Friday, March 29.

“Four men were arrested, and a 24-year old male has been released without charge, and three males aged between 18-24 have been released under investigation. If anyone witnessed the incident, or has information that may help with the investigation, contact South Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11 quoting reference 1900111468.”

Hazel Morris, councillor for the Penlan area, praised the police for their quick response to the incident.

She said: “The police are brilliant in the area and earn every penny they get.

“They are very sensitive to the area and i’m sure they dealt with this incident in their usual sensitive way.”

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University makes formal criminal complaint

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A FORMAL criminal complaint has been by made by Swansea University, as part of the ongoing investigation into the issues surrounding the recent suspension of four members of staff.

South Wales Police said: “Dyfed-Powys Police and South Wales Police can confirm that they have received a complaint which is currently subject of consideration by both forces.”

Last November, the university’s Vice-Chancellor Prof Richard B Davies, Dean of the School of Management Prof Marc Clement, as well as two other members of staff, who have not been named, were suspended.

Prof Davies has been suspended for alleged gross negligence whilst Prof Clement was suspended for alleged gross misconduct. Both individuals have denied any wrongdoing. Registrar Andrew Rhodes confirmed at the time that this action was taken after an internal investigation.

In a statement, the university said: “Swansea University has been in regular dialogue with the authorities since November 2018 based on the findings of our initial investigation. A formal criminal complaint has been made and the matter is with South Wales Police and Dyfed Powys Police. We will of course continue to co-operate fully with them. Our processes, which are being carried out by an independent investigating manager, are ongoing.”

The investigation has looked into the academics’ involvement in both the £200m Life Science and Wellbeing Village project in Llanelli, and a £600m plan for a private medical university and hospital in Kuwait.

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New railway station proposed

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WELSH SECRETARY Alun Cairns has said how a new £20m railway station north of Swansea could boost business in the area and cut journey times.

Mr Cairns is visiting Swansea to promote the idea of a West Wales Parkway station at Felindre, which would be built on line that is mostly used by freight trains.

A report has said how the station could cut down congestion on the M4, and Mr Cairns stressed that the Welsh Government and Swansea Council need to engage with the issue.

Council leader Rob Stewart has voiced worries that the project could result in fewer trains going to the current Swansea and Neath train stations.

The report, by Professor Stuart Cole, insisted that by bypassing Swansea city centre, journeys between Cardiff and west Wales could see their times cut by up to a quarter of an hour.

The station would require a car park, and both the Welsh Government and Swansea Council own land adjoining the proposed site.

Morriston Hospital and the DVLA could be amongst the major employers to be served by the station, as well as nearby Parc Felindre, which currently has signed just one tenant.

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