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Road closure trial for Port Talbot to begin in August

The timetable for the closure of the slip road from the M4 motorway into Port Talbot has been confirmed - it will start on the 4th August.

Welsh Assemby
Protesters say the J41 plans will damage trade, and cause traffic chaos. Credit: Steve Redmore.

Neath and Port Talbot Council say the timetable was agreed upon after a meeting with the Welsh Government. the town's Chamber of Trade and local businesses.

Port Talbot
Campaigners asked the Welsh Government to drop the plans. Credit: Steve Redmore

The trial peak-time closure of the westbound slip road at Junction 41will start on 4th August 2014 between 0700 to 0900 and1600 to 1800, Monday to Friday.

Campaigners handed in a petition with more than 22,000 signatures against the closure plans which they say will hit trade and worsen traffic problems.

Pick-up driver jailed for causing pedestrian's death

A driver has been jailed after admitting causing the death of a pedestrian in Port Talbot.

Phillip White, 49, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.

Judith Thomas, 52, died when she was hit by White's pick-up truck on Margam Road in January 2013.

Phillip Alfred James White
White has also been banned from driving for a year. Credit: South Wales Police

The judge ordered the seizure of White's vehicle.

White showed a total disregard for the law by driving otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of a licence.

I would like to thank those members of the public who assisted with first aid that evening and who came forward as witnesses.

– Inspector Carwyn Evans, South Wales Police

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Pick-up driver jailed for causing pedestrian's death

A driver has been jailed after admitting causing the death of a pedestrian in Port Talbot.

Phillip White, 49, pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving and was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.

Judith Thomas, 52, died when she was hit by White's pick-up truck on Margam Road in January 2013.

Phillip Alfred James White
Phillip Alfred James White has also been banned from driving for a year. Credit: South Wales Police

The judge ordered the seizure of White's vehicle.

White showed a total disregard for the law by driving otherwise than in accordance with the conditions of a licence.

I would like to thank those members of the public who assisted with first aid that evening and who came forward as witnesses.

– Inspector Carwyn Evans, South Wales Police

Further Tata Steel statement after Port Talbot emission

Tata Steel has issued a further statement following this morning's loud bang and visible smoke coming from the Port Talbot steelworks.

"We do everything possible to avoid any impact from our operations on our surroundings and we care very much when activities here unsettle our neighbours" said Dr Martin Brunnock, Technical Director at Tata Steel.

Black smoke was seen coming from the site Credit: Viewer's picture

"We have been contacted by local residents in relation to this incident and we will respond to this feedback once we complete our investigation."

"The release was the result of a procedure which we carry-out on very limited occasions when required to stabilise the blast furnace operation"

"We carry-out this procedure only when it is necessary and with a clear eye on our responsibilities to the community and the environment."

In pictures: Black smoke seen from Port Talbot steelworks

Below are pictures which appear to show black smoke emitting from the Tata Steel site after a 'loud bang' was heard there earlier today.

The company says the bang was caused by a valve in one of the blast furnaces.

Black smoke is seen from nearby houses in Port Talbot Credit: Ross Hookings
The emission has been reported to Natural Resources Wales Credit: Viewer's picture
Tata Steel insists the site remains safe Credit: Viewer's picture

Photo shows black smoke from Port Talbot steelworks

This photo from David Thomas, who lives near the Port Talbot steelworks, appears to show black smoke being emitted from the site.

Tata Steel says the site remains safe Credit: David Thomas

More: Tata says Port Talbot Steelworks remains safe after 'loud bang'

Tata Steel said production is continuing as normal, and that the site "remains safe".

The emission, caused by a valve in one the furnaces, has been reported to Natural Resources Wales.

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Tata acknowledges 'unusual emission' from Port Talbot steelworks

Tata Steel said production is continuing as normal after a loud bang was heard from the Port Talbot steelworks this morning, with an 'unusual emission' witnesses by people living near the site.

Tata Steel said the bang was caused by a valve in one of the blast furnances

"Following reports of an unusual emission from the site, this morning, we can confirm that there was an operation of a valve in one of the blast furnaces which led to a release" a spokesperson said.

"The site remains safe and our normal production operations continue."

"The emission has been reported to NRW, and will be investigated and further reported to the regulator according to normal protocols.

Community Union: Job losses are 'not a surprise'

400 jobs are to go at the steel site in Port Talbot

Alan Coombs, Chair of the Multi Unions committee at Tata Steel Port Talbot says it's clear the steel industry is suffering following the announcement that 400 jobs will be lost at the site.

He said:

"We need the help and we need the support now. The steel industry is suffering particularly bad and we do need the help now not in two or three years time."

Mr Coombs added:

"We understand the business has got to move forward but we've got to be in a place where we can compete and we can do it safely."

"There's going to be a strain on the workforce left behind and that's also a concern."

He said the Unions will be challenging the number of job losses.

Assurances on Tata future despite redundancies says Welsh Secretary

Welsh Secretary David Jones says he too has been in contact with Tata about the job losses. He says the company remains committed to the future of the Welsh steel industry.

It is very disappointing to hear that Tata Steel has had to make the decision to reduce its operational workforce at its Port Talbot site and my immediate concerns are with those employees and their families who may be potentially affected by redundancies.

Tata Steel has assured me that it is undertaking a robust consultation process with its staff and will continue to work very closely with the unions. It has also offered assurance that it is committed to sustaining the long-term future of its Port Talbot site in Wales against a global backdrop in recent years of shrinkage in the steel industry and intense global competition. Jobcentre Plus stands ready to support any employees potentially affected by today's announcement.

– Welsh Secretary David Jones MP
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