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Institute of Welsh Affairs - Second Severn Crossing - electric vehicle charging

06 July 2018

Transport for Wales (TfW) was ticked off by the Institute of Welsh Affairs think tank on Monday last week for having a “board with six directors, all of whom are men”. The IWA’s report on decarbonising transport says this contrasts with Transport for London’s board of 15 “of whom nine are women and three are Welsh women”. Two days later, TfW announced that two of its male non-executive directors are about to leave, at the same time as three new non-execs attend their first board meeting. The new directors are all women. Think tanks are constantly giving official bodies the benefit of their free advice, and most of their recommendations come to nothing. Although the TfW appointments were probably in train before the IWA finalised its report, the IWA might be entitled to a modicum of smugness on this occasion!

Any naming ceremony involving royalty and a major piece of transport infrastructure is bound to generate plenty of media interest, so why did Prince Charles get so little publicity this week when he renamed the Second Severn Crossing the Prince of Wales Bridge? As this column noted in April, the UK Government’s chosen new name for the M4 motorway structure was widely criticised in Wales. An online petition gathered the names of 38,000 objectors. The UK Government said the “silent majority” in Wales was on its side, but a YouGov poll of Welsh residents found that 34 per cent were against and 17 per cent in favour, the rest having no strong feelings. The lesson the Government learned from this, it appears, was not to consider a different name but to ban mainstream media from the renaming ceremony!

BBC Scotland reports that vandals successfully disabled an electric vehicle charging point in the whisky-producing town of Aberlour by shoving Cadbury’s creme eggs into the charging socket. This snippet of news raises more questions than we have space to consider so we’ll settle for asking our Scottish readers just one – how much scotch do you have to drink before you think that shoving creme eggs into a power socket rather than eating them is a good idea?

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