Welsh Government ‘teams up’ with police ahead of 20mph roll out
The Welsh Government has teamed up with police forces to help educate motorists ahead of the 20mph default speed limit roll out in September.
On Sunday, September 17 Wales will become the first UK nation to introduce a new default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads.
To prepare motorists for this significant change, the Welsh Government and the police are working with the fire service, Go Safe (Wales’ Road Casualty Reduction Partnership), local authorities and other community groups to educate motorists.
At roadsides across Wales, fire service staff “will work with partners” to stop speeding motorists in 20mph areas and “offer them the opportunity to watch an educational video rather than face a fine or prosecution.” The Welsh Government has said.
The video warns about the dangers of excessive speeds and highlights the benefits of slower speed.
It is only offered to those motorists not driving excessively over the speed limit.
Supt Leanne Brustad, Gwent Police said:
“Engagement, education, and enforcement plays a huge part in the rollout.
“We will continue to work closely with our partners to educate drivers as much as possible as the new speed limit comes into force and help deliver all of the benefits of this policy.”
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Group Manager Richie Smart said:
“Our fire fighters see the devastating impacts that road traffic collisions, including those in built up areas where people and vehicles mix closely, can have. We are therefore pleased to support our partners to raise awareness of the importance of speed limits to keep everyone safe.”
During a visit to Wrexham last Friday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Deeside.com, that implementing a blanket 20mph speed limit across Wales was not the right thing to do.
He said: “It’s always going to be fitting in particular areas to have lower speeds, for instance, near schoolchildren.”
“I think everyone would agree that from a safety perspective, this makes sense.”
However, the Prime Minister stated, “I think a blanket reduction to 20 miles an hour doesn’t make sense.”
“It [will] just add cost and complexity, it will cause people to make that adjustment and just get in the way of their ordinary lives.”
He said the speed limit reduction “in a blanket fashion like that is not appropriate.”
The Welsh Government has introduced ‘exceptions criteria’, which allow local councils some flexibility to retain 30mph speed limits, where appropriate, on some restricted roads, providing that the criteria are met.
To claim an ‘exception’ for a restricted road, local councils must present a clear and reasoned case for doing so, demonstrating that robust evidence exists that retaining a higher speed limit would be safe.
“Not all existing 30mph roads will meet this test, although it is probable that stretches along some roads will,” said Flintshire council.
After assessing local roads using the Welsh Government’s ‘exception’ criteria, and in close collaboration with County Councillors, a number of roads in Flintshire have been identified as potential exceptions.
A formal consultation process on the proposed changes to the roads listed below was launched on Friday, 28 July 2023. This Statutory Consultation period of 3 weeks will close on Friday, 18 August.
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
Flintshire Council has said that although the proposed changes (listed above) can be advertised over the summer, “the required Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s) cannot be legally implemented until after the 17 September 2023 following the introduction of the new legislation. Until the statutory consultation process has been completed, it is not possible to say how many of the roads listed above will change to 30mph.”
After the 20mph speed limit law is enacted in September, local communities will have the opportunity to propose additional roads for exemption through the Council’s website, “more information on this process will be available in the autumn” The Council has said.
An information pack will be available for public inspection at the Council’s Connect Centres between 9am and 4.30pm on the days listed below:
• Buckley – Tuesday or Thursday
• Connah’s Quay and Holywell – Monday to Friday
• Mold – Monday, Wednesday or Friday
The possible exceptions are available for viewing on DataMap Wales https://datamap.gov.wales/maps/roads-affected-by-changes-to-the-speed-limit-on-re/