Transport and Environment News: Protest by Welsh Workers, Environmental Watchdog in Wales and more

Welsh Workers demonstrate to call for financial support from the Welsh government

By Ganshi Gao

Workers protest against the government
Photo Source: Voice Wales

Welsh taxi drivers gathered in Cardiff on Tuesday calling for financial support from Welsh government. At the moment, several other sections of the transport industry have already gained support from the government, such as bus and rail. Taxi drivers is asking for the same treatment.

Since the outbreak of Covid-19, taxi trade has hardly received any financial support from the government. The shortfall in earnings is too hard for taxi drivers to support the livelihood of their families.

The taxi trade heavily relies on other sections. “When people do not go out to socialize at weekends, they do not use taxis.”, said Alan McCarthy, a regional officer at Unite Wales.United Wales urges taxi drivers to sign a petition and they will congregate at Welsh Government Buildings in Cardiff at 10.30 am.

Brexit: Environmental watchdog to be introduced in Wales

Photo Source: Getty Images

by Irina Krasteva

With Brexit on the horizon, a new environmental watchdog might be introduced in Wales.

The new proposition comes straight from the UK government and it shall take the place of the European Commission. At this point, people can complain free of charge to the European Commission, which has the authority to investigate on their behalf whether the governments are respecting the green laws.

Back in April an expert group, brought together by the Environment Minister, presented a report of recommendations. Ms. Griffiths response is quite clear. There should be a government independent commission that should have the power to carry out inquiries when faced with systemic issues. This would range from “advising public bodies” in Wales through to “enforcement and employing mechanisms of environmental review before the upper tribunal.”

However, the necessary legislation might not be put in place before May’s Senedd election, which suggests years before the system can potentially work.

Council taxpayers to pay £13.6 million over the next two years for bailout of Cardiff’s bus company

by Archita Joshi

Owned by the city council, Cardiff bus has been struggling with finances for years.

The company reported losses of £1.9 million in the year 2018 and had to cut several routes. The finances were starting to improve before the pandemic hit. 

The councillors on the cabinet received a confidential report on the latest options on October 15. Although the public was kicked out of the meeting, one brief report was made public which mentioned the risks of the Cardiff bus and the need for more money. The report explained the council needs to spend an extra £7 million on the bus company this year and  £6.6 million spent in the next. 

Nine hundred miles of the railway to state-owned from February 2021, Wales government has just announced

Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons

by Arthur Yan

  As a result of the failure of the fall in passenger numbers during the outbreak and recent ditch talk with the current operator recently, the Walsh government will officially take over its 900 miles of railway from February 2021. The railway is ‘Transport for Wales’, set to take over the operation of services.

  Emergency measures were introduced in March in order to keep trains running during the first six months of the coronavirus pandemic. At a cost of at least £3.5billion to the taxpayers, the measures involved the Department for Transport taking on franchise holders’ revenue and cost risks, while paying them a fixed fee for operating trains.

  A joint operation is being applied this time, with a company from France called Keolis. Not only is responsible for the tracks but also other rail infrastructure – including work to design and deliver Valley Lines network upgrade. Cardiff was not involved in this batch of the deal.

Chancellor urged to support three rail projects to transform services in North Wales, Cheshire and Merseyside

by Rahul Thyamagundlam

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to back three rail improvement schemes in North Wales and the North West of England.

Local authority leaders across North Wales, the Wirral and Cheshire West and Chester in the Growth Track 360 Partnership are seeking £20 million in seed corn funding in Wednesday’s Spending Review.

The money would go towards developing three projects in the cross-border areas, which include:

  • Wrexham to Liverpool, to transform a neglected, slow and erratic diesel train service based on hourly services run by Transport for Wales from Wrexham to Bidston, just outside Birkenhead, into a busy commuter line.
  • North Wales Coast Mainline, to improve connectivity between North Wales and the major cities of the UK as well as upgrading an international link to the Republic of Ireland.

Chester Station Modernization, to improve the station’s contribution to improved connectivity and journey quality.

The road of shame in Newport littered with TVs, tables and carpets

by Fangyi Liu

Fly-tipping on “the road of shame”, Nash Road, got worse during the recent firebreak lockdown in Wales.

Fly-tipping on a busy road, named Nash Road, in Newport which locally as the “road of shame” got worse during the lockdown in Wales since there was less danger of getting caught at that special period.

“It’s a well-known fly-tipping hotspot,” said Stefan Zitzmann, a man who walks back and forth along the road every day to and from work. “Black bags are being thrown in the ditch, and there are also TVs, cables and carpets being dumped there.”

The Newport council reminds residents that it is their responsibility to ensure they dispose of their waste correctly through the appropriate service.

Dead dolphin caught in fishing nets found washed up on Caswell beach

by Alex Daud Briggs

A dead dolphin was found tangled in a fishing net on the shore of Caswell Beach in Swansea.

Several visitors reported the dolphin over the weekend. Despite being wrapped in the net experts say that the animal could have died before it got tangled.

Marine Biologist Lauren Eyles said, “It looks like quite a healthy dolphin, and it might have come into contact with microplastics, but it could also been victim to ghost-fishing, which is when nets have been left in the ocean, or having become lost and the dolphin became tangled”.

The Dolphin’s carcass is now being transported to London Zoo for a full post-mortem autopsy.

Stranded cetaceans have been a continuing problem at British beaches each year.