TWO projects that put Pembrokeshire on the road to improved communications were officially opened by Welsh transport minister Edwina Hart on Monday.

An £8m road link between Johnston and Tiers Cross and a new ‘transport hub’ for Tenby were both visited by the minister.

The two lane, 2.7km Bulford Road improvement scheme will improve access to some of Pembrokeshire’s major industrial sites on the north-west shore of the Haven..

It has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund and Welsh Government’s Local Transport Fund, together with match funding from Pembrokeshire County Council.

It also includes safe walking and cycling paths linking the communities of Tiers Cross and Johnston.

The council’s deputy leader, Councillor Keith Lewis, said: “I’m delighted that this new access road is now open - it’s been long awaited.

“As well as improving access to some nationally important industrial sites, it also provides an alternative route for traffic on the western side of Milford Haven thereby reducing the need for heavy traffic to pass through the town

"The upgraded highway also provides a vital link between the two rural communities of Tiers Cross and Johnston.”

Before its upgrade, Bulford Road was a single-track road with passing places, which served the major strategic energy sites in the Haven Waterway Enterprise Zone including the Murco Oil Refinery (now Puma Energy), South Hook LNG and other development sites located to the west of Milford Haven.

The alternative access was generally via Milford Haven town centre.?

The improvement scheme is the culmination of eight years of design and preparation, with construction starting in 2014.

Construction work was undertaken by Alun Griffiths (Contractors) Ltd with supervising consultants Atkins Ltd.

The £1.3m Tenby project, which has taken three years to complete in Upper Park Road, includes new passenger waiting facilities and bus stops, a new coach drop-off point, upgrades to the multi-storey car park and footways as well as improved disabled access. There is also a new Customer Information Centre nearby, and upgraded public toilet facilities.

The new hub aims to boost the local economy by improving transport links to and from Tenby, which is used by over 300,000 bus passengers a year.

The main contractor for the project was Jones Brothers (Henllan), with Capita Symonds the supervising consultants.

Said Mrs Hart: "The Welsh Government is committed to investing in transport infrastructure to improve access to jobs and services.”