Over 2,500 sign Buckley petition against 20mph speed limits in Wales
Over 2,500 people have signed a petition by a Buckley resident aimed at stopping the roll-out of 20mph speed limits in Wales.
Buckley is one of eight areas that are part of a pilot scheme aimed at gathering data and developing a best practice approach before the proposed full rollout across the rest of the country in 2023.
A Welsh Government taskforce backed the change to 20mph, saying that there “is overwhelming evidence that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and a reduced severity of injuries; and consistent evidence that casualties are reduced when 20mph limits are introduced.”
A Welsh Government’s Public Attitude Survey suggested that four in five Welsh adults (80%) would support a speed limit of 20 mph in the area they live, compared to one in five (20%) who would not.
However, one resident of Buckley, Adie Drury, started the petition saying that the speed limits were “causing chaos” and people were “avoiding the area” as a result.
He said that calling it a pilot scheme was “insulting” when it had already been decided that the change would be rolled out across Wales in 2023.
“The lorries are struggling to get up the hills in such a low gear and sticking to such a low speed downhill is hard on the brakes,” he said.
“This is doing nothing to reduce emissions, instead there will be more pollution from more cars struggling in a lower gear for a longer time.”
He added that drivers are “spending so much time looking at their speedometers that it is actually a cause of dangerous driving!”
Buckley, Flintshire is one of the areas taking part in the first phase. The other seven are:
- Whitchurch in Cardiff
- St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire
- Llanelli North, Carmarthenshire
- St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan
- Cilfrew Village, Neath Port Talbot
- Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
- Severnside, Monmouthshire
The Welsh Government said that as well as the consultation they would conduct focus groups with residents from communities involved in the first phase, and commission independent research before a full rollout next year.
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said as the pilots were rolled out earlier this month: “The evidence is clear, decreasing speeds not only reduces accidents and saves lives, but helps improve people’s quality of life – making our streets and communities a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst helping reduce our environmental impact.
“As with any cultural change we know it takes time to win hearts and minds and inevitably we will face some challenge, but I am confident that if we all work together we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future. ”
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