Council to discuss Facebook survey calling for speed limit changes
Elgan Hearn Local Democracy Reporter
A Facebook survey calling for to roads to return to 30mph will receive a response at a council meeting this week.
The survey calls for an increase in the speed limit on parts of two roads in Newtown, Powys to 30mph after the limit was lowered to 20mph in September.
At a full Powys County Council meeting on Thursday, December 7, cabinet member for highways, Liberal Democrat, Councillor Jackie Charlton will respond to the call.
In the section of the meeting for questions from the public, John Williams will ask Councillor Charlton when will the council “implement” changing the speed limits on Pool Road and Kerry Road back to 30mph.
Mr Williams said: “In early October, a poll was carried out in three of the more popular community Facebook groups in Newtown, to determine how people felt about the imposition of 20mph zones on Pool Road and Kerry Road in Newtown.
“In just two days, the overwhelming majority of recipients were in favour of returning both roads to 30mph.”
Mr Williams has provided arguments that would back up changing the speed limits back to what they were. An 840 metre section of Pool Road (A4811) was changed to 20 mph.
Mr Williams claims that as there is a “dedicated cycle and pedestrian paths” on this route it qualifies for an exemption from the speed limit under the legislation.
‘Error’ by the council
A 600 metre section of the Kerry Road (A489) was changed to 20 mph. Mr Williams said that as this is a “main arterial road” for traffic passing through Newtown this would qualify it for an exemption from the 20mph limit.
Mr Williams believes that not making these roads exceptions to the 20mph limit was an “error” by the council that needs to be rectified.
Mr Williams said: “The Welsh Government guidance states that the highway authorities (in this case Powys County Council) continue to have the flexibility to set local speed limits that are right for individual roads, reflecting local needs and considerations.”
Councillor Charlton said: “Since the introduction of the new 20mph restrictions, there has been considerable discussion amongst highway authorities across Wales about the process of reviewing its exception sites.”
“The consensus is that the new 20mph restrictions should be allowed to settle for around 12 months and in the meantime, authorities are collating all requests and comments received for consideration in the future.”
She added that reviews would be conducted after a year has passed and the revised guidance has been published.
The change of speed limits has come in for heavy criticisms from some quarters with a petition garnering 466,607 signatures to scrap the 20 mph speed limit.
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