20mph default speed limit probe paused
A probe into Wales’ 20mph default speed limit is expected to be put on hold by senior councillors.
The new road regulation which came into force in September last year and saw most roads in Wales that were 30mph switch to 20 – although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.
The Welsh Government says the new speed limit will result in 40 per cent fewer road collisions, save six to 10 lives every year and avoid 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.
The introduction of the default 20mph speed limit on the majority of 30mph roads in Wales sparked protests and sign vandalism in many areas, including Martletwy, Crymych, Hermon and Mynachlogddu, with signs daubed with paint.
Earlier this year, members of the Pembrokeshire’s Council Cabinet backed a series of exemptions in the county, where the 30mph limit is retained.
A report for Cabinet members lists three options, a ‘do nothing’ approach, adopting the notice of motion, and the recommended option, that any decision on a working group is deferred.
A Notice of Motion before the Council’s February 12 Cabinet meeting, by Pembroke Dock Bufferland councillor Michele Wiggins says: “The Welsh government have agreed to work collaboratively with local highway authorities to reflect on the application of the guidance in different parts of Wales.
“As a councillor for Pembrokeshire I agree with the 20mph, but not a blanket roll-out.
“I would like to put a Notion of Motion together for a working party to discuss areas as a large proportion of Pembrokeshire residents and businesses do not agree with the blanket limit and this is a democracy.”
The report concludes: “Extensive work has been undertaken to date to introduce the 20mph and there is recognition there has been concerns raised by some motorists in Pembrokeshire.
“It has also placed significant workload on officers to deliver the work, and that work still continues in terms of introducing buffer limits.
“Given the scale of this scheme, council resources have been very stretched, and there is no spare capacity within the team to either consider new requests, or to support extensive review work.
“Normally, when new speed limits are introduced, the council’s timescale is 12 months post implementation for any review, to allow time for any new scheme to “bed in”, or the full extent of issues to be evidenced.”
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