Council starts removing 20mph road markings in Buckley triggering social media
Flintshire Council has faced criticism over the removal of 20mph road markings across Buckley and surrounding areas.
The move, part of preparations for the Wales-wide introduction of 20mph speed limits this September, ignited social media, following a post on Twitter by the council.
The post states: “Out around Buckley and surrounding areas, starting to remove 20mph road markings.”
The removal of the road markings sparked questions about the cost-effectiveness of painting and then removing them.
Buckley has already had reduced speed restrictions introduced as part of a first phase ‘pilot,’ when roads were marked accordingly to reflect the 20mph speed limit change.
One person replied to the council’s tweet: “Might be missing the point here… why are you removing them to get ready… to… paint them????”
Flintshire Council explained that the removal of the markings, whether 20mph or 30mph, “does not indicate a change in the existing speed restrictions within those areas.”
“Just that the County is getting ready for the Wales-wide introduction of 20mph in Sept.”
The council added: “Under WG’s new 20mph legislation, speed restriction markings on the road must be removed. There will be vertical 20mph signs at each end of the restricted area and streetlights along the length of road between the signs will be the reminder that you are in a 20mph area”
Still, the statement failed to quell concerns, with critics pointing out perceived inconsistencies in the planning and execution of the measures.
On Twitter, residents like @Miss_M_C_W called it a “massive waste of funds,” urging the council to “try fixing the roads first!” Others, such as @DanJones7777, described the 20mph limit as “absolutely ridiculous” on many roads.
@BLUENOSELAD questioned the council’s grasp of its responsibilities, saying, “You waste money on something that will be impossible to enforce.”
The Welsh Government said the default speed limit is changing on residential and busy pedestrian streets to:
“Make our streets safer, reducing the number of people killed or injured (as well as reducing the impact on the NHS)
Encourage more people to walk and cycle
Help to improve our health and well-being
Safeguard the environment for future generations
The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.”
The sweeping speed limit changes, passed by the Senedd last summer, will cost taxpayers over £32m according to a Welsh Government “Explanatory Memorandum” which states:
“The total direct financial cost is estimated at £32.5 million which is expected to be spent over the period 2022-2027 but is mostly incurred in the fiscal year 2022-23.”
“The direct financial cost of the policy falls almost entirely on the Welsh Government, which is funding the capital works carried out by the local authorities through grants.”
The Welsh Government asserts that the costs incurred in converting roads to 20mph speed limits will be offset by a reduction in accidents and injuries, thereby saving money for the NHS.
The Welsh Government has implemented ‘exceptions criteria’ allowing local councils the flexibility to maintain 30mph speed limits on some restricted roads, given certain criteria are met.
To claim an exception, councils must present evidence that keeping the higher limit would be safe.
Flintshire Council has identified 15 potential exceptions, which have been launched for a formal consultation period until 18 August 2023.
Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO) will then need to be issued for those roads identified to remain at 30mph.
The Welsh Government “Explanatory Memorandum” notes that Transport for Wales modelling “suggests there will be on average 15 exceptions per local authority.”
“The assumed cost is £2,500 per TRO, which includes the administrative costs of drafting the TRO.”
The roads where the exceptions are being proposed are:
• A549 Mold Road, Mynydd Isa
• A549 Chester Road / Dirty Mile – Little Mountain, Buckley
• B5127 Liverpool Road, Buckley
• B5128 Church Road, Buckley
• Drury Lane, Buckley
• St Davids Park, Ewloe
• White Farm Road, Buckley
• A541 Hendre
• A541 Denbigh Road, Mold
• A5104 Warren Bank Interchange, Broughton
• A5026 Holway Road, Holywell
• B5121 Greenfield Road, Holywell
• B5129 Kelsterton Road, Kelsterton
• B5129 Queensferry Roundabout Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com