Tighter security as Nos Galan numbers increase
Less than half of pre-school children have flu vaccination
tHErE will be extra security, increased police presence and more concrete barriers in place for this year’s Nos galan road races event.
The New Year’s Eve showcase, which is expected to see more than 10,000 spectators and 1,700 competitors flood the streets of mountain Ash in rhondda Cynon taf, will also see several road closures.
According to rhondda Cynon taf council, because the event, which was founded in 1958, has increased in popularity in recent years, they are working closely with south Wales Police throughout the planning stages.
Councillor Ann Crimmings, chairwoman of the Nos galan committee, said: “With events of this magnitude, there will inevitably be some disruption, but we ask motorists and residents to bear with us and, if necessary, to make alternative travel arrangements for the duration of the Nos galan road races.
“safety is, as always, of paramount concern and we continue to work with south Wales Police to ensure LEss than half of two and threeyear-old children have been given a free vaccination to protect them from flu this winter, it has been revealed.
Public Health Wales has confirmed that just 40% of children in this age group have been given the nasal spray vaccine from their gP.
Children aged two to eight that additional will be in place.”
she also said it will mean more police and security staff, as well as extra concrete barriers around the town centre.
motorists are advised to allow extra times for their journeys in and around mountain Ash on New Year’s Eve and competitors are advised to arrive well in advance of race start times.
The first of the children’s races are set to get under way at 5.15pm, followed by the arrival of the Nos galan mystery runner at 6.20pm, which was last year the then-Wales football team boss, Chris Coleman.
The elite race will start at 7pm, followed by the adult 5k fun run at 7.30pm.
The council also said a free Nos galan park and ride service will once again operate this year.
A shuttle bus will run every 10-15 minutes, from 3.30pm until 9.30pm security measures years old on August 31, 2017, are also eligible for a free flu vaccine in Wales.
Pupils in reception and years 1, 2 and 3 should be offered the vaccination by their school’s nursing service – and encouragingly, 68.7% of this age group have been protected.
But health experts say there needs to be a substantial increase from mountain Ash Comprehensive school, with race-goers dropped off opposite the Aberdare Hotel.
Coun Crimmings, who is also the council’s cabinet member for environment and leisure, added: “We are looking forward to another fantastic night, with thousands of residents and visitors in the town to cheer on the runners and enjoy what is always a memorable occasion for all.”
The road closures will see oxford street shut from 3.30pm onwards, as well as Llanwonno road, Cilhaul terrace, High street, Pryce street and surrounding areas. These will be rolling road closures, managed on the night by south Wales Police.
temporary diversions will also be in place due to the increased number of people who line the route to welcome the Nos galan mystery runner from st gwynno’s Church, Llanwonno, to the town centre.
Coun Crimmings added that all race categories are now full, and that there will be no opportunity to register on the day. in the uptake in preschool-aged children.
Consultant paediatrician Dr sian owen, at the Children’s Centre in Dolgellau, said: “This vaccination is really important. Young children are particularly at risk of serious complications of influenza because their immune systems are not yet fully developed so they can’t fight off infections like influenza as well as older children and adults can.
“influenza is easily spread within groups and can be even more of an issue over Christmas as families and friends come together.”
Last winter in Wales, 671 children and adults were diagnosed with influenza in hospital, with 74 admitted to intensive care.
Last year’s Nos Galan race had a helping hand from former Wales boss Chris Coleman, below right