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Petition: P-05-721 Penegoes Speed Limit
Y Pwyllgor Deisebau | 13 Rhagfyr 2016
 Petitions Committee | 13 December 2016
 

 

 

 


Research Briefing:

Petition number: P-05-721

Petition title: Penegoes Speed Limit Petition

Text of petition:

We call on the National Assembly for Wales urge the Welsh Government to introduce a 30 miles per hour speed limit throughout the village of Penegoes (from the Penegoes village sign entering from Machynlleth, to the other side of the Maesperthi Caravan Park’s Proposed new entrance) on the A489 road towards Newtown; and a 40 miles per hour speed limit from Machynlleth to Pengoes.

Background

The Welsh Government is the highway authority for the Welsh trunk road and motorway network, including the A489. Maintenance and operation of the network are the responsibility of the South Wales Trunk Road Agent and North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent.

The North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent website describes the road:

The A489 is a strategic East-West route of national, regional and local importance; it runs from the A483 at Newtown to Machynlleth and is split into two distinct lengths by the A470. The southern section links the A483 at Newtown to the A470 at Caersws. The Northern section links the A470 at Cemmaes Road to the A487 at Machynlleth. Both sections are generally a single carriageway road of varying width and standard.

The Southern section of the A489 Trunk Road is 8.5 Kms (5 miles) in length and links the settlements of Newtown and Caersws. The Northern section of the A489 Trunk Road is 9 Kms (5.5 miles) in length and links the settlements of Cemmaes Road and Machynlleth.

A map of the whole Welsh trunk road network is available here.

The Road Safety Foundation, a UK road casualty reduction charity, is a partner of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), an international not for profit association whose purpose is to promote safer roads.  The Road Safety Foundation publishes annual British EuroRAP results for Britain assessing the safety of British roads, including a risk map providing an assessment of safety.  Past reports, including those for 2013, 2014 and 2015, are available on the Foundation’s website.

The risk maps provide a five level risk rating ranging from low to high risk roads showing the “statistical risk of death or serious injury” occurring on the road. The Foundation describes the methodology used:

The risk is calculated by comparing the frequency of road crashes resulting in death and serious injury on every stretch of road with how much traffic each road is carrying. For example, if there are 20 crashes on a road carrying 10,000 vehicles a day, the risk is 10 times higher than if the road has the same number of collisions but carries 100,000 vehicles.

In 2013 the risk rating for the Northern section (A470 at Cemmaes Road to the A487 at Machynlleth) of the A489 was assessed as low to medium risk (based on 2007-2011 data). In 2014 the risk increased to medium risk (2010-2012 data) and the most recent rating in 2015 assessed the road as medium to high risk (2011-2013 data).

Welsh Government action

The Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework, published in 2013, sets out the Government’s road safety targets and associated actions.  For all Welsh roads by 2020 the Welsh Government wants to see the following compared to the average for 2004-2008:

§    40% fewer people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads;

§    25% fewer motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads; and

§    40% fewer young people (aged 16-24) killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads.

 

The framework identifies “vulnerable groups” and considers “collision causation”, engineering “safer roads” as well as approach and governance arrangements.

The Welsh Government has reviewed the speed limits on the trunk road network, giving due consideration to the nature of the road, safety of the road and use of the road by the community, in line with the guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales(PDF 197kb). This guidance is used for setting all local speed limits on trunk and county roads (excluding motorways) whether single or dual carriageways in both urban and rural areas.

The Trunk Road Safety Review website details the results of the review of speed limits and safety on the trunk road network. The website says that trunk road safety is continually monitored to identify potential road safety improvements and the review of speed limits is an ongoing process.

Under this review, the A489 trunk road section referenced in the petition consists of three distinct sections, namely:

·         The A489 Machynlleth Start 30mph to Clock Tower Junction;

·         The A489 Penegoes End of 40mph to Machynlleth Start of 30mph; and

·         The A489 Penegoes Start of 40mph to End of 40mph.

Figure 1 A map showing Trunk Road Safety Review sections between Machynlleth to Penegoes. Source: Produced by the Assembly Research Service using information from the Traffic Wales website [accessed 23 November 2016].

For the A489 Machynlleth Start 30mph to Clock Tower Junction, the review concluded that the existing speed limit of 30mph should be retained with the implementation of a part-time 20mph speed limit outside Machynlleth C.P. School as part of the Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools rolling programme in 2015/16 (see below). For the A489 Penegoes End of 40mph to Machynlleth Start of 30mph section, the review concluded that the existing 60mph speed limit should be retained along with a detailed study to be undertaken as part of a prioritised programme of engineering work, beginning 2019/20 at the earliest. For the A489 Penegoes Start of 40mph to End of 40mph section, the review concluded that the existing 40mph speed limit should be retained.

The Welsh Government’s National Transport Finance Plan commits to “deliver the actions set out in the Road Safety Framework for Wales” through to “2020 and beyond”, and to deliver “a programme of road safety improvements outside schools on the trunk road”.  In a written update to all Assembly Members on the Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools programme dated 1st October 2015, the then Minister for Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart confirmed the identification of 41 additional schools where part-time 20mph speed limits could be implemented as part of a three year rolling programme along with the provision of £4.5 million to support implementation. The supporting annex contained within the update detailed that Machynlleth C.P. School was a priority for the implementation of a part-time 20 mph speed limit in 2015/16.

The letter to the Chair from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure regarding this petition refers to the fact that the Trunk Road Safety Review concluded that the current speed limit on the A489 near Penegoes is appropriate and should be retained. The Cabinet Secretary says that the safety and reliability of the trunk road network is one of his key priorities and that the details of this petition will be taken into consideration as part of ongoing work to regularly review collision data and establish the need for road safety improvements.

National Assembly for Wales action

This issue has not yet been considered by the Assembly.

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.