Gwynedd Council has released a map proposing where 20mph speed limits will be introduced across the region next month.
From 17 September, the default 20mph speed limit will come into force on certain roads across the country, but will not include a vast majority of the A44 and A487 trunk roads. The Welsh Government says it is changing the default speed limit in a bid to make streets safer by reducing the likelihood of collisions and death or injury from them, although some roads will remain at 30mph and will be known as exceptions.
Gwynedd Council’s map can be found on their website with the following: “Current 30mph speed limits will be reduced to 20mph in most sites in Gwynedd. But with some roads where there is justification, the restrictions will remain at 30mph and detailed work has been carried out to consider these locations by the Council’s engineers.
“We have also identified sites where the speed limits are currently 30mph, but which are not lit in accordance with national guidelines. In locations where it would be beneficial for the community to reduce the speed limits to 20mph, we will do so by introducing a traffic order.
“We have already engaged with community/town/city councils and other stakeholders, and have held a period to receive comments on the recommendations which came to an end on 28 April 2023.
“The map shows the roads coloured in colours denoting the various intentions in terms of speed limits. Although roads within housing estates are not designated on the map, these will change to 20mph in accordance with speed lighting requirements.”
The map can be found at tinyurl.com/Gwynedd20mphMap.
The council say they are now in the process of presenting Traffic Orders for public consultation, which can be viewed at tinyurl.com/GwyneddTrafficOrders
Lee Waters MS, deputy minister for climate change with responsibility for transport said: “The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.
“Slower speeds also help create a safer and more welcoming community, giving people the confidence to walk and cycle more, improving their health and wellbeing whilst protecting the environment.”
Montgomeryshire MS Russell George has launched a consultation for people to give their views on the impending speed changes, and some drivers across Wales are tying red ribbons to their vehicle in protest at the change as a form of symbolic gesture of opposition.
A petition against next month’s changes drew 21,000 signatures.
The Welsh Government says the changes will save lives and the scheme has been given the backing of a top doctor in Wales.
Paediatric emergency consultant Dr David Hanna said: “It’s simple, slower speeds save lives!
“Every year in Wales we see the devastating impacts road traffic collisions have on children and their families. They are the biggest single cause of serious injury in children who are typically walking or cycling.”
And, according to Dr Hanna, children are at more risk than adults: “Children have less road awareness than adults and can be difficult to see.
“They also tend to be struck higher on the body due to their smaller height, and more likely to suffer severe injuries as a result. So, the new limit will help reduce the number of collisions and severity of injuries.”
Frank Atherton, Chief Medical Officer for Wales added: “We’re now just over a month away from the biggest change in community safety we have seen in Wales for a generation. Reducing speeds not only saves lives, but helps us to build stronger, safer communities.
“Evidence from across the world shows that vehicle speed is one of the main reasons why people do not walk or cycle, with one in three Welsh adults saying that 20mph would increase their likelihood to walk or cycle more.
“So, not only will slower speeds save lives and reduce injuries, it will also help to keep people healthier and reduce the burden on the NHS.”