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Call for return of 30mph speed limit on city’s arterial roads

01 Mar 2024 3 minute read
20mph signs in Newport. Photo via Newport

A city councillor is calling for speed limits on arterial roads, which changed to 20mph last September, to be returned to 30mph.

David Fouweather told a Newport council meeting that he believed Newport should have followed Cardiff in retaining 30mph speed limits on some of the key routes into the city.

Councils have powers to grant exceptions to the default 20mph speed limit laws the Welsh Government introduced in 2023 if they can show evidence, it is safe to do so.

The government has acknowledged complaints about “an apparent lack of consistency across Wales in the decisions on exceptions made by highway authorities” – and a review of councils’ decisions is currently under way.

Wales-wide audit

Responding to Cllr Fouweather at the meeting, Laura Lacey, the cabinet member for infrastructure, said Newport City Council wouldn’t review its own decisions on 20mph exceptions until that Wales-wide audit had finished.

Cllr Fouweather questioned whether the council had “taken any action” and cited the “disappointment of thousands of motorists in this city” who were “sick and tired” of the lower speed limit.

But Cllr Lacey repeated that the council would “wait for the full review”.

She also questioned whether Newport residents were as unhappy with the 20mph speed limits as Cllr Fouweather was stating.

“We need to look at the residents on these streets” where 20mph changes have been implemented, she argued, and suggested such people were more supportive of lower speed limits than the Conservative councillor had alleged.

Following the meeting, Cllr Fouweather said it was “disappointing” the cabinet member had “refused to confirm that she had begun the consideration of returning arterial routes into the city back to 30mph”.

Frustrated

He claimed “many” drivers would feel “frustrated and angry” the council was “continuing with the war on the motorist”, and said it was “plain common sense” that arterial routes should return to 30mph.

The Welsh Government introduced 20mph default speed limits for road safety reasons, arguing that “decreasing speeds will reduce collisions, save lives and reduce injuries – helping to improve quality of life and make our streets and local communities safer for all”.

The Wales-wide review of how councils set exceptions to 20mph laws is likely to culminate in a final report to the Welsh Government “later this year”.

The government said the review will not, however, be “an evaluation of the success or otherwise of the change in the default speed limit and the roll-out of extensive 20mph limits”.


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blc
blc
1 month ago

The “arterial route” chosen as the example to highlight in the cover image has been 20mph for at least 14 years.

That’s the stretch of A4042 heading towards the Riverfront Theatre as you come in to Newport; Google Streetview shows the 20mph limit in images dated October 2009.

A.Redman
A.Redman
1 month ago

What is the point of a review unless All options and opinions are heard?

Leon Michael
Leon Michael
1 month ago

Newport is twice cursed…with constant evening and weekend motorway closures, forcing traffic to go through routes in and around Newport City Centre…Causing gridlock not just on the main route, but all roads leading to those main roads….the 20mph only adds to the exasperation and frustration these bottlenecks bring to the motorists who are forced to queue for over an hour in slow moving traffic just to get through the city and back onto the motorway…..all of which could have been avoided if Drakeford hadn’t cancelled the M4 Newport relief road causing chaos…now we have Drakefords rediculous speed restrictions also causing… Read more »

blc
blc
1 month ago
Reply to  Leon Michael

Lots of roads in Newport town centre were already 20mph before the new legislation. Such as the road featured in the cover image, as I’ve already pointed out. Traffic in Cardiff absolutely sucks, and is complete chaos when there’s an M4 closure. There are “arterial routes” in and out of Cardiff that are absolutely choked with static traffic no matter what the speed limit is: Rover Way is usually full of slow traffic despite being 40mph, the 50mph A4232 coming from the A48 is always packed in both directions, the A4232 heading out west to M4 J32 is 70mph and… Read more »

Moth
Moth
1 month ago

There’s nothing better to watch than motorists crying because they have to drive a bit slower, they’re like children

Alice Lander
Alice Lander
1 month ago

Wales just proving they don’t want visitors , we used to visit every three or four months but not since this mad dogma was installed

FrankC
FrankC
1 month ago
Reply to  Alice Lander

I’m sure we’ll survive without you.

Alice Lander
Alice Lander
1 month ago

This will just increase business costs so the cost of many things will rise, so even more inflation

Alice Lander
Alice Lander
1 month ago

This will increase pollution nit decrease it. More traffic jams so running the engines longer than they should need to but also the exhaust systems need to work above circa 160 degC at 20 mph they seldom will unless you’ve just reduced from about 40mph or more

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