Petition Number:  P-05-907

Petition title: Change the speed limit in Cemaes to 30mph

Text of petition: We call upon the National Welsh Assembly to encourage the Welsh Government to reduce the speed limit in the village of Cemaes (on the A470 between Machynlleth and Dolgellau) from 40mph to 30mph. We also call upon them to extend the speed restriction area so that it begins by the Cemaes sign when entering the village from the Cemaes Road direction.


1.        Background

The A470 is a main trunk road running from Llandudno in North Wales to Coryton Roundabout off the M4 in South Wales. The Welsh Government is the highway authority for the Welsh trunk road and motorway network and so is responsible for setting speed limits on the A470 roads. A map of the whole trunk road network can be found here. The maintenance of the section of the A470 that runs through Cemaes in Powys is the responsibility of the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent.

The Road Safety Foundation (RSF) is a UK charity advocating road casualty reduction that has led on the establishment of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP). The RSF publishes annual British EuroRAP reports which include a risk map providing an assessment of the safety of British roads. The risk map shows the statistical risk of a fatal or serious injury crash occurring which is calculated by comparing the frequency of road crashes resulting in death and serious injury on the motorways and ‘A’ roads. There are five ratings of risk from low risk roads, deemed the safest, through to high risk roads.

The 2014 report and the 2015 report rated this section of A470 as a medium-high risk road. The 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 reports have since rated this section of road as a medium risk.

2.     Welsh Government action

In his letter to the Committee dated 15 October 2019 Ken Skates, the Minister for Economy and Transport, said that this section of the A470 through Cemaes will be included in a Speed Limit Review.

The Welsh Government has a map to show the proposals to improve trunk road safety that came out of a previous Trunk Road Safety Review, which began in 2013. It shows that there previously was a decision to retain the current speed limit of 40mph through this section of the A470 with other programme works planned to improve road safety.

The Welsh Government has published guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales. The guidance applies to all trunk and county roads, but not to motorways. With regard to speed limits in rural areas, the guidance says:

40 and 50mph speed limits may be used where appropriate, and the speed limit in rural towns and villages should generally be 30mph. Highways authorities should, however, consider each location on a case-by-case basis.

Traffic Advisory Leaflets (TAL) provide information and guidance for implementing traffic regulations and policies. TAL 1/04 (PDF, 363KB) outlines advice on village speed limits. It says a village should have ’20 or more houses; and [be] a minimum length of 600 metres’.

When deciding what the appropriate speed limit is, highway authorities are encouraged to use discretion and take into account a number of factors including: schools; shops, cafes and restaurants; banks and post offices; residential and nursing homes; playing fields and sports facilities.

3.     National Assembly for Wales action

While this specific stretch of road along the A470 does not appear to have been raised in the National Assembly, the Petitions Committee has considered four other petitions related to speed limit reviews since 2016.

The following three petitions were grouped together for consideration:

§  P-05-721 Penegoes Speed Limit Petition;

§  P-05-767 A487 Trunk Road Through Tre-Taliesin: Urgent Need for Effective Speed-Calming Measures; and

§  P-05-792 Petition to extend the 40mph speed limit in Blaenporth.

P-05-721 sought to reduce the speed limit through the village of Penegoes to 30mph. The fourth petition, P-05-823 Reduce the speed limit on the A487 in Penparcau, called for the reduction of the speed limit to 20mph.

The Committee has written to the Minister several times while considering these four petitions asking for further information regarding the Welsh Government’s Speed Limit Review. The responses from the Minister generally note that there is a Speed Limit Review which will take time to complete and requires the collection of evidence in order to come to decisions regarding each road.

All four petitions have been closed by the Committee based on the commitment from the Minister to take into account the views of the petitions and local residents during the Speed Limit Review process.

Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this briefing is correct at the time of publication. Readers should be aware that these briefings are not necessarily updated or otherwise amended to reflect subsequent changes.