News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Plans to consider blanket 20mph limit in residential areas put on hold for time being

NOTE: This content is old - Published: Thursday, May 16th, 2019.

Plans to consider the possibility of introducing a blanket 20mph speed limit in residential areas of Flintshire have been placed on hold for the time being.

Complaints have been raised by a number of people living in the county about the dangers caused by speeding drivers.

One area where the issue is said to be particularly prevalent is the town of Saltney, where 10-year-old Alfie Watts suffered serious injuries in a hit and run incident at the start of the year.

A petition with more than 2,000 signatures was handed to the local authority demanding new safety measures soon after he was hospitalised.

Backbench politicians were due to discuss a report on the introduction of 20mph zones in Flintshire at a meeting next week as a way of reducing speeding.

However, those plans have now been overtaken by a recent statement made by First Minister Mark Drakeford in which he voiced his support for 20mph to become the default limit in residential areas across Wales. In a report, a senior figure at the council said it was now awaiting further details from the Welsh Government.

Anthony Stanford, the authority’s transportation and strategy manager, said: “Following the recent relaunch in Wales of the 20’s Plenty Campaign, Flintshire County Council, along with many local authorities, are under increasing pressure to implement 20mph as the default speed limit within urban areas of the county.

“A number of local authorities have responded by the implementation of blanket speed limit orders following local pressure and there are a number of trial arrangements in place across Wales, which are currently being evaluated, most notably in Cardiff.

“In order for the implementation of 20mph speed limits to be both achievable and affordable, a change to the current national legislation is required and Welsh councils will await a decision from the First Minister as to when revised legislation is likely to be implemented.

A further report will be provided to the scrutiny committee, once this has been determined.”

Areas outside all schools in Flintshire are already subject to advisory 20mph speed limits.

But Mr Stanford said such speed limits are not enforceable and have achieved varying degrees of success.

He added that current legislation was reliant on drivers altering their behaviour.

He said: “Highway authorities should take account of the level of police enforcement required before installing such measures and must always formally consult the police when considering their implementation.

“As with all speed limits on the highway network, police resource will not permit the continual presence of an officer to enforce speeding offences, and therefore, in accordance with the current legislation, it is essential that all 20mph speed limit proposals are self-enforcing, either by means of existing driver behaviour or by means of physical traffic calming measures should existing speeds be above the required threshold level.”

The briefing paper will be discussed by members of the council’s environment scrutiny committee at a meeting on Tuesday, 21st May.

By Liam Randall – Local Democracy Reporter (more here).

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