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Councillors call for rethink over 20 mph speed limit

23 Aug 2023 2 minute read
“20mph Zone” by EdinburghGreens is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Plans for a blanket introduction of a 20mph speed limit on urban roads in Wrexham need to be re-thought, according to Plaid Cymru councillors.

The proposal to change all current 30mph speed limits to 20mph, with just nine roads exempted throughout the county borough, was made by the Welsh Government.

The council has launched a public consultation on the legislation , but councillors say that this is unlikely to change anything as the new signage is ready to be unveiled on 17 September when the new default limit becomes law.

Blanket imposition

Cllr Carrie Harper said reducing accidents and injuries was important, which is why Plaid Cymru supported the 20mph limit outside schools and on residential streets.

She added: “There are key arterial routes through Wrexham – Mold Road, Chester Road, Holt Road and Cefn Road for example – as well as roads that link our villages that will become 20mph due to this blanket imposition.

“There are just nine stretches of roads – a total of three miles throughout the county – that will remain at 30mph if this goes through.

“It’s another example of a top-down approach by this Welsh Government that doesn’t take into account local knowledge or opinions.

“Local councils have generally gone with the blanket reduction and Wrexham Council is no exception. I think that is mainly because, when resources are spread so thinly, it’s easier to do.

“If the intention is to ensure people walk, cycle and use public transport to get around, then that would need a far greater emphasis on improving bus services as well as safer cycle routes. This is all about the stick and not about the carrot.

“The blanket introduction will cause problems and I have no doubt will need to be reviewed and undone. We’re calling on the Welsh Government to take their time to get this right first time rather than have to unravel the scheme.

“In the meantime, please have your say by taking part in Wrexham Council’s online survey.”


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Llyn
Llyn
7 months ago

Carrie Harper said “Local councils have generally gone with the blanket reduction”. That’s clearly not case if you look at the map of 100s of exceptions across Wales on the Welsh Government’s map. It sounds like Wrexham Council are months slower in carrying out this consultation than other authorities in Wales.

max wallis
max wallis
7 months ago

They say “safer cycleroutes” – the 20mph policy does that, specifying on-road cycleways with no segregation from motor traffic require 20mph, If Wrecsam claims to have an arterial road with cycleroute, all that’s need is to install light segregation – erecting wand-bollards is quick and cheap so why have Wrecsam Council not done that? A bit late now, so it’s up to you to put in the segregation then you can give a 30mph exception.

Ap Kenneth
7 months ago
Reply to  max wallis

Wrexham council are pretty poor at thinking ahead in the provision of cycling and walking infrastructure. They do have plans for Mold Rd but that might take a decade to materialise at their rate of progress 🙂

Frank
Frank
7 months ago

Just think of the pollution this braindead exercise will create. Low gears = high emissions and less mpg.

theo
theo
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

I don’t believe this to be true. According to studies (by Imperial and one by TfL) the emissions at 20 is quite similar or less than emissions at 30. In fact in urban areas where there is a lot of start stop traffic, the speeds will be a lot smoother and reduce pollution from brakes and tyres. Also, the overall aim of the policy is to encourage people not to use cars altogether (less car=less emissions).

Frank
Frank
7 months ago
Reply to  theo

Maybe, a few drivers may adhere to your theory. We have a speed bump outside our house and all I see is motorists approaching at high speed, braking sharply, negotiate the bump and then engage a low gear, race away and to try and achieve 60mph under six seconds. The same will happen in 20mph zones. They will see the sign at the last second, brake hard, get really agitated at driving at 20mph then race away at the end of the speed limit.

Ap Kenneth
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

If the vast majority of traffic does adhere to the speed limit perhaps speed bumps in those situations should be removed. Obviously do not know the situation by your house but can think of many that are a nuisance in areas where traffic is already slow.

Tezo
Tezo
7 months ago
Reply to  theo

Well the studies are made by people who probably have zero mechanical knowledge and over too short a time period. What it does not account for and that is already reported in the trial area is, diesel engines have EGR valves that recirculate the exhaust gas to be reburned. They operate at low speeds and are wide open at higher engine revs to clear out the system. At prolonged use at low speeds the EGR valves fail, but the car still runs. They clog up with soot and are jammed open at low speed. This increases the NOx fumes by… Read more »

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

OK, so according to this logic the speed limit in urban areas should be 55 mph, after all this is widely regarded as the most efficient speed to drive at.

murray mcculloch
murray mcculloch
7 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

yep that is what I’ve been saying for yrs!they are harping on about emmissions and this is why they are implementing all these restrictions but it is amazing the experts can manipulate the numbers to make it suit there ethos!we all know cars are running best at 56mph so traffic should be made to flow freely and keeping traffic flowing note congesting and slowing everyone down that just produces frustration stress and higher pollution!

WilliamsG
WilliamsG
7 months ago

We were recently lucky enough the CN Tower in Toronto. The guide explained that the lift ascended the building at 15mph. An English tourist in the crowd shouted, ‘That’s nearly as fast as you can drive in Wales’. It is just another tactic in the Welsh Government’s war on Welsh motorists. No road building, large sections of our trunk roads at 50mph, proposed tolls on the M4, and now everything reduced to 20mph. I agree with selective 20mph near schools, hospitals and elderly homes but this will kill our economy, shorten our engine lives and just achieve a lot of… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
7 months ago
Reply to  WilliamsG

I have read and heard many ridiculous arguements and falsehoods on behalf of those against reducing the speed limit in built up residential areas in Wales but this fantasy is hands down the absurd – “We were recently lucky enough the CN Tower in Toronto. The guide explained that the lift ascended the building a 15mph. An English tourist in the crowd shouted, ‘That’s nearly as fast as you can drive in Wales”.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  WilliamsG

Yes, I’m sure that happenned!

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago
Reply to  WilliamsG

So you agree with selective 20mph speed limits near schools? How near to schools exactly?

I ask because the minimum distance from a school that a child has to travel in order to qualify for free travel on a bus is 2 miles for primary or 3 miles for secondary. If a child lives closer to their school than those limits then they are expected to walk. So the selective 20mph speed limit ‘near schools’ would have to extend two miles from primary schools and three miles from secondary schools.

Kershaw
Kershaw
7 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Heavy goods at 20 mph produced 75% more co than at 33

As they can not use 3rd gear
Most hgvs use 8 or 12 gears

A hgv at 40 mph. Example emits less than 80
Units at 33 that goes down to 120 or 140

At 20. That figure can be 280 or higher

Imagine the damage that can cause to a child’s brain

Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
7 months ago

SteG

Steve Gadd
Steve Gadd
7 months ago

I can’t understand why as much focus has not been placed on pedestrian and Cyclist safety in a more common sense ,self help and proactive approach. All road users, pedestrian or otherwise should be highly visible when near or on the roads. The case has long been made for 30 miles per hour speed limits but nothing has ever been done to put equal responsibility on all road users alike to self manage safety. If some one collides with a Hi Viz pedestrian or cyclist then yes the driver is at fault. but if the pedestrian is wearing camouflage like… Read more »

Gwyndaf Jones
Gwyndaf Jones
7 months ago

Why such a big deal about taking a few more seconds to go through a village?

Monrow
Monrow
7 months ago
Reply to  Gwyndaf Jones

I live near new quay in Ceredigion & it’s 5.3 miles to aberaeron which on average takes around 9 minutes drivingwithin the speed limits, the other day I drove the same journey but in the 30 limits I treated them as 20 limits and the same 9 minute Journey added an extra 16 minutes to the journey turning a 9 minute journey into a 25 minute journey, I also tried this at 2 other times of the day just to see if this made a difference, but there was very little difference to talk of, apart from the added 16… Read more »

Robert morgan
Robert morgan
7 months ago

Stupid idea. Outside schools, side streets, hospitals yes, but elsewhere no

Jesus
Jesus
7 months ago

Course they should review it, total waste of money. Yes outside schools and hospitals fair enough but all main roads should stay the same. NHS is in a crisis spend the money there where people can benefit from it, not for the handful of people who think it’s a good idea when all it’s going to do is cause unnecessary problems. Wake up please.

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