‘Why must we live like this?’ Snowdonia village’s call for action due to number of speeding motorists
Gareth Williams, local democracy reporter
A Snowdonia community’s plea to slash the speed limit following a string of accidents will see a review by highways chiefs.
According to residents of Rhyd Y Sarn, which lies between Blaenau Ffestiniog and Maentwrog, they fear that someone could be killed due to the sheer number of motorists speeding through the heart of their community.
While the current speed limit on the A496 running through the hamlet is 60mph, locals are campaigning to slash this to 30mph following a string of road traffic accidents.
Peter Jones, 74, has lived in Rhyd Y Sarn for 20 years but says that without pavements or adequate verges for people to walk safely along, speeding vehicles pass dangerously close to pedestrians, with elderly residents scared of crossing the road.
“The time has come for action because we’ve had enough,” he added.
“Over the years there have been occasions when an individual resident has phoned the authorities to express concern about the dangerous situation, only to be told something like ‘we’ll look into it.’
“But do we wait until a pedestrian is killed? And then, no doubt, the response will be, ‘lessons will be learned’ – that now standard reaction from those who fail to live up to expectations.”
Claiming that the current situation “poses a serious risk of injury or even death,” the local campaign has seen the production of a highly detailed, illustrated leaflet to raise their concerns.
It includes reference to several accidents on the stretch of road including one in November 2016 which saw a man airlifted to hospital, and November 2020 where a 17 year old woman had to be cut out of a vehicle.
Mr Jones concluded, “We’re just a line on some traffic manager’s map. You would have to be here to know just how dangerous it is for us. Why must we live like this?’
In response, a Gwynedd Council spokesperson said: “As a council we are aware of the situation along this stretch of the A496 and are sympathetic to the effect it’s having on local residents’ lives.
“In 2017, several measures were introduced in the area to improve road safety due to the number of collisions over the previous years. This included crash barriers, road markings and improved signage.
“Welsh Government funding has now been secured to carry out a review of the road safety measures by experts in the autumn, paying particular attention to concerns at Rhyd y Sarn.
“We hope that the report and recommendations will be ready by the end of the calendar year.”