Buckley residents call for council to “actively engage” with community over controversial 20mph speed limits
Buckley residents have sent an open letter to Flintshire County Council calling for officials to “actively engage” with the community over controversial 20mph speed limits.
Wales became the first UK nation to pass legislation to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets from 30mph to 20mph when the Senedd voted in favour in July this year.
Flintshire is one of eight areas in Wales “trialling” a reduction in the speed limit in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets, taking it down from 30mph to 20mph
The Welsh Government launched the pilot in February as part of its plans to introduce the new national 20mph default speed limit.
However, the trial created a fierce backlash in Buckley, residents claim it has led to road rage incidents, as well as rising pollution and fuel costs.
There have been widespread calls for main arterial roads through the town to be returned to 30mph, after a blanket 20mph limit was imposed.
In March Flintshire council confirmed it has asked the Welsh government to review the 20mph speed limit on main arterial roads as a matter of a “high priority.”
At the time the Leader of the Council, Councillor Ian Roberts, said:
“Whilst we support Welsh Government’s rollout of a 20mph speed limited in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets, 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.”
He said: “The Council will work with Welsh Government to lead any future community engagement to ensure that local residents are given the opportunity to provide their input in to any proposed changes to the exceptions criteria.”
The Welsh Government however said it was up to “Local Authorities to decide which roads should retain the 30mph limit in consultation with their residents.”
Since then there has been little engagement from authorities.
Buckley residents say they feel “ignored and ridden roughshod over.”
The open letter, which has been sent to the council this week and signed by a large number of residents states.
“This scheme has not been welcomed and has left a bad taste in people’s mouths for Welsh Labour and Flintshire County Council.”
The open letter in full.
We are writing to you as residents of Buckley to request an update on what is happening regarding the 20mph scheme in our town.
In reaction to the volume of complaints and information requests regarding this a Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The new legislation will not apply a blanket speed limit on all roads, it will simply make the default limit 20mph. Ultimately, it will be down to Local Authorities to decide which roads should retain the 30mph limit in consultation with their residents. Together, we are drawing lessons from pilot settlements to look again at the criteria used to keep some roads at 30mph.”
With this in mind we would like to formally request that the council actively engages with the community and listens to the collective voice that has been calling, and is STILL calling many months later, for the main roads in and out of Buckley to be reverted back to 30mph.
We understand this cannot happen overnight, however if it was implemented on the 28th February 2022, just 6 weeks after the consultation period ended on the 7th January 2022, there is no reason why it should take any longer to repeat the process but for 30mph.
The residents of Buckley feel ignored and ridden roughshod over. This scheme has not been welcomed and has left a bad taste in people’s mouths for Welsh Labour and Flintshire County Council. This is not to say that bridges cannot be mended with positive action and a collaborative approach going forward that actively involves and engages with the community – an approach Welsh Government deemed vital in ensuring the success of any scheme.
We would appreciate an update, as soon as is possible, on what plans Flintshire County Council has in mind regarding reverting the speed limits back to 30mph on certain roads in Buckley.
In response to the letter, Flintshire County Council has said:
“The Council confirms receipt of a letter sent on behalf of Buckley residents in relation to the implementation of 20mph speed limits in Buckley.”
“The Council will consider the content and respond accordingly.”
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com