Posted: Wed 20th Apr 2022

Buckley 20mph speed limit rollout “less community engagement than elsewhere” says leading advocate

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Apr 20th, 2022

The founder of ‘20 is plenty‘ has said concerns raised in Buckley around new reduced speed limits need to be “understood and addressed” and there appears to have been less “community engagement than elsewhere.”

Flintshire is one of eight ‘pilots’ areas across Wales where the national default speed limit on residential roads and “busy pedestrian streets” has or is being reduced to 20mph.

The Welsh government said that making 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas across Wales will help to “reduce accidents, and save lives.”

Reduced speed limits came into force at the end of February in Buckley, Drury, Burntwood, Alltami, New Brighton, Mynydd Isa, and Bryn Baal.

There has been a well-documented backlash from local residents who say they were not consulted properly on the 20mph speed limits despite Flintshire council stating an “extensive period of informal consultations” had taken place.

Locals have said the new speed limits are targeting the wrong roads such as Liverpool Road, a main arterial route through Buckley.

Campaigner Rod King MBE is the founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, a ‘not for profit’ organisation representing nearly 600 local groups campaigning for the reduced speed limits.

Mr King joined the Buckley Residents Facebook Group on Tuesday in a bid to answer questions about 20mph limits.

More than 550 comments have been made so far on his post, many have slammed the implementation of the new Buckley speed limits.

Some people have questioned Mr Kings’ ability to comment specifically on the new speed limits in Buckley given he doesn’t live there.

Others asked about the blanket approach to the speed limit and not taking into account main arterial roads and the issues the reduced speed is having on those.

Deeside.com asked Mr King for his view on all the comments given most were against the new speed limits.

He said he recognised they were a “cause for concern of residents in Buckley.”

“That is why I made the effort to reach out to residents via the facebook group and offer to answer any questions to the best of my ability.” He said.

Mr King, who was awarded an MBE for services to road safety, said “The Welsh Government has committed to making 20mph the norm in Welsh communities and this has had cross-party support in the Senedd.”

“The ‘trial settlements’ chosen to assist in formulating the practical details of national roll-out were expected to show some issues.”

“In Flintshire, these may have been impacted by the manner in which it has been implemented with less community engagement than elsewhere and also the particular topology and characteristics of the town.” He said

Mr King said: “the concerns of residents do need to be understood and addressed.”

“As someone involved in the whole campaign for safer and more liveable streets I welcome the opportunity to see the comments from residents in the Facebook group.”

“From this I am pleased that the Mayor of Buckley has asked for a meeting when I make my planned visit the town so that I can better understand the situation.”

He said: “I may not agree with all of the Facebook comments made, but I do recognise some valid concerns.”

“I trust that from this comes to a positive contribution to this important debate about how Buckley can best balance the needs and aspirations of all its residents including whilst inside and outside of motor vehicles.”

Last month the leader of Flintshire Council Cllr Ian Roberts, said: “we have listened to concerns from local residents since the implementation of a 20mph speed limit in Buckley on 28 February and have asked Welsh Government to consider reviewing the exceptions criteria that led to the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on the main arterial roads.”

Cllr Roberts said: “Given the extent of the feedback received from the local community, we are pleased that the Deputy Minister has acknowledged this feedback and said that whilst 20mph is currently the default, Welsh Government will look at the speed limit on main arterial roads by reviewing the exceptions criteria prior to the scheme being rolled out further across Wales in 2023.”

“We appreciate that the matter is attracting increasing attention within the local community and have requested that the matter be dealt with as a high priority.”

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