Question from: County Councillor Jackie Charlton Subject: Default 20mph speed limit in residential areas
In September Cllr Stephen Hayes put a motion to Council to:
… vote to introduce a default 20mph speed limit in residential areas from 2023. Recognising that Powys contains a number of small towns of exceptional historic interest where the speed of traffic adversely affects the safety and enjoyment of residents and visitors, Council agrees to:
Since the motion was agreed both Cllr Hayes and I have received correspondence from several residents in Powys asking us to support the area they live in to reduce the speed in line with the motion. We have responded to all the letters.
Cllr Hayes and I understand that you as Portfolio Holder agree with this Welsh Government initiative and would ask what progress has been made in offering Powys as a location for pilot schemes, and given the focus of the motion on our smaller historic communities, what is the timescale for opening constructive discussion with those communities keen to progress schemes?
Response by the Portfolio Holder:
The Welsh Government [WG] are looking at piloting 20mph limits in various towns across Wales. It is our understanding that the WG want to have a selection of differing types of locations to test the proposal which will enable them to then refine their guidance on rolling this out to all areas of Wales in 2023.
The WG advised last week that they are currently looking at what the pilot study will need to achieve and how best they wish that to be undertaken. Until they correspond with the Local Authorities on this, we do not know what their criteria may be.
However, should the WG seek nominations from Local Authorities, we would need to establish a form of ranking to enable a settlement or settlements to be selected. The main aims of the proposal are to improve road safety, especially for pedestrians and also encourage a modal shift to active travel. It is therefore likely that, if asked, we would need to establish an assessment framework based around potential for casualty reduction and increase in walking and cycling within a community. Other factors which may be imposed on by WG may be around the size and type/makeup of the community/town.