A resident of Rhyd Y Sarn has hit back at Gwynedd Council’s response to an article in last week’s paper on a two-year struggle to reduce the speed of the road through the village.
Having launched their speed-reduction campaign over two years ago, a spokesperson told the Cambrian News that the residents of Rhyd y Sarn have been left wondering what, if anything, Gwynedd Council is doing about a blackspot where crashes are a regular occurrence.
The Cambrian News has followed the campaign of the Rhyd y Sarn residents from the start and, earlier this year, it looked like progress was being made when the council launched a public consultation proposing a reduction of the present 60mph speed limit down to 40mph. But the village is still being plagued by crashes as the speed limit remains at 60mph.
Campaign coordinator for the residents of Rhyd y Sarn Peter Jones said: “The council’s traffic and project manager, Iwan ap Trefor, sent me an email on the 16th December 2022, saying ‘We are confident that a change in the speed limit will be in place by July 2023’ and it’s now nearly October and we haven’t heard anything since.
“Even if they reduce it to 40mph, that still means pedestrians are walking in the road itself, there being no pavements, with vehicles travelling dangerously fast and close by. And the crashes continue to mount.”
Gwynedd Council was asked to comment but their statement arrived too late for last week’s paper.
A spokesperson has since been in contact to say the number of collisions on this section of road “is clearly a concern” they share with residents.
“The council is now in the process of erecting chevron signs on the approach to the hamlet from Blaenau Ffestiniog, which we hope will have a significant impact on the way motorists negotiate this section of road.
“The speed limit through Rhyd y Sarn has been reviewed and the legal process to reduce the speed limit has been completed. The work of putting up new signs is due to be carried out over the next two months.
“We hope the steps being taken will help to improve road safety on this section of road and appreciate the desire locally for improvements to be introduced as soon as possible.”
Responding to this statement, Peter said the council’s concern “is of no immediate help to those living in this accident black-spot”.
“The chevron signs were erected several months ago after the Traffic and Project Manager Iwan ap Trefor was shown what was needed in an illustrated PDF I sent him.
“During this summer they finally repaired a very dangerous defective bridge situation at the southern end of Rhyd Y Sarn.
“Regarding the point about the speed limit having been reviewed and the legal process to reduce the speed limit complete, there is no reference to the proposed 40mph being safe for pedestrians walking in the road itself. Maybe they should be asked this specific question: do they consider 40mph safe for pedestrians?
“Their hope that steps taken will improve safety are of no conceivable value to nervous residents. No thought is given to traffic issues in rural communities, which far outnumber urban settings in Gwynedd and elsewhere in north Wales. There seems to be no appetite to address this issue directly, either at a county council level, or in Cardiff.
“It’s all so Kafkaesque!”