I know I'm sounding a bit like a child with a new toy here, but I went from Aberystwyth to Cardiff and back on the bus the other day (for the Nuclear-Free Local Authorities Welsh forum) and, for the first time, used the Traveline Cymru app on my mobile. It works absolutely brilliantly. The app instantly gives you all possible options for any journey you want to make, whether by train or bus, within Wales and beyond. It's bilingual and so up to date it even identifies the different stops at the new Aberystwyth bus station. I'll never need to bother with a timetable again.
Traveline Cymru is funded by the Welsh Government and has representatives from across Wales on its Board. Info about the free app can be found here. Advert over.
In keeping with the whole public sector, funding for Ceredigion Council is going to fall further in the next financial year, despite receiving a slight increase from the Welsh Government. This is because their increase of 1.23% is below the rate of inflation, currently 2.2%.
Under the provisional local authority settlements for 2013–2014 outlined by the Welsh Government last week, Ceredigion County Council will receive an increase of 1.23% – marginally above the average increase of 1.22% for Welsh county councils.
Ceredigion’s Assembly Member, Elin Jones, said:
“Despite the swingeing public sector spending cuts being imposed on all levels of government from Westminster, I welcome these provisional figures which suggest that the funding for Ceredigion County Council next year will see a slight increase.
“However, even this small increase remains below the rate of inflation and will equate to a funding cut in real terms. There is therefore no doubt that this will still be a tough settlement for Ceredigion County Council in the face of rising costs and ever increasing demand for its services.
“While Ceredigion will be receiving a slightly above-average increase in funding compared to other Welsh local authorities, I will continue to make the case for us to receive a fair share of the ever-dwindling public purse locally, in order to protect the services we all value”.
The latest traffic figures for Llandysul provide interesting reading for those both interested in and opposed to bypasses.
These figures below, taken from a counter in Well Street, give a five-day average for August each year. The £23 million Llandysul Bypass was opened in October 2009 – three years ago this month. Figures for the following August showed traffic through the town reduced by 60%.
Aug 2005 = 4485 vehicles
Aug 2006 = 4537 vehicles
Aug 2007 = 3948 vehicles
Aug 2008 = 4421 vehicles
Aug 2009 = 4440 vehicles
Oct 2009 – Bypass opens
Aug 2010 = 1814 vehicles
Aug 2011 = 1798 vehicles
Aug 2012 = 1691 vehicles
That may be good news for people wanting a quieter town and for drivers wanting a faster journey between mid-Ceredigion and Carmarthen. But, as I heard at a meeting in the town last week, it’s been a disaster for local shops and businesses. Bypasses are a two-edged sword.