Temporary 50mph pollution reducing speed limits to remain “for as long as necessary” says Minister
A controversial speed limit change on the A494 through Deeside is here to stay a Welsh Government Minister has said.
Five sections of road in Wales have seen speeds reduced to 50mph as part of what the Welsh Government initially described as a ‘temporary’ measure
The speed reduction is aimed at bringing high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) down to within legal limits on the most polluted roads in Wales.
During Environment & Rural Affairs Questions at the Senedd on Wednesday Lesley Griffiths (Lab, Wrexham) confirmed the temporary speed restrictions would remain in place for as long as they’re deemed necessary – including the one along the A494 and one in her own constituency.
The Environment, Energy & Rural Affairs Minister said:
“We will leave them in place as long as we think necessary to maintain air quality standards on that part of the road. I think what’s really paramount to the effectiveness of these 50mph speed limits – I’ve got one in my own constituency – obviously, is compliance.
I think we need to be much more upfront about what it is. I’ve certainly heard people say in Wrexham that they don’t understand why they’ve got that stretch of 50mph.
We’ve now got a sign saying that it’s to reduce emissions. But I think perhaps we need to be even more clear in relation to that.”
The 50mph speed limits were introduced last summer to “safeguard public health” but regular A494 users say the road has now become dangerous with many drivers choosing to ignore it on what was a 70mph stretch of road.
Using data from traffic monitoring website INRIX the average vehicle speed measured on the Sealand stretch of the A494 is 59mph, 9mph above the speed limit.
A report published by the Welsh Government in September 2018 says that reduction in pollution on the A494 is “dependent on the enforcement of the measure.”
Implementing a permanent 50mph speed limit would cost in the region of £400,000 “this would include average speed enforcement cameras and equipment, traffic signs and ongoing maintenance” the report said.
Keep up to date with what is going on in the Senedd via SeneddHome.com
Spotted something? Got a story? Send a Facebook Message | A direct message on Twitter | Email: News@Deeside.com