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Petition: Road Safety Improvements Along the A487.
Y Pwyllgor Deisebau | 9 Ionawr 2018
 Petitions Committee | 9 January 2018
 

 

 

 


Research Briefing:

Petition number: P-05-792

Petition title: Petition to extend the 40mph speed limit in Blaenporth.

Text of petition:

We the undersigned do hereby petition the Welsh Assembly to extend the 40mph speed limit on the A487 to the parish boundary where the 50mph limit begins.

At present the 40mph limit ends before what was the local school at Lon-Yr-Ysgol road. The school has now closed, however the children are still here as they are now picked up at the Lon-Yr-Ysgol bus stop where they wait, sometimes accompanied by parents with toddlers, for the school bus. In the afternoon, when they are dropped off at the end of the day it is a different situation in that the children have to negotiate the A487 from the opposite side of the road.

The speed limit at the point where the children have to cross the road is 60mph and traffic, which has been released from the 40mph zone, speeds up and very often overtakes on this straight stretch of road. On the far side of the road there is no slow children crossing sign, no bus stop sign, no bus shelter to give motorists warning of pedestrians crossing.

This is also the point where the disabled access ramp is positioned on both sides of the road which is used not just by disabled but also parents with pushchairs and the elderly with walking frames etc.

There has already been one fatality on this stretch of road and just last week another big vehicle crashed off the road and through the hedge breaking down a large section of fence.

I believe it is only a matter of time before we lose a child.

Since the road speed limit was set, a solar farm has been built with access onto this stretch of road and additional traffic. Also the old school buildings have become a business park with a chip shop, a chiropractor, carpet warehouse, car wash and more to come.

This has all led to an increase in heavy traffic turning into and attempting to exit Lon-Yr-Ysgol.

This petition requests that the Welsh Assembly puts the safety of our children first and foremost and extend the 40mph zone to include the entire stretch of the A487 within the parish boundary.

Background

The A487 trunk road forms part of the north-south network of trunk roads linking Fishguard in Pembrokeshire with north Wales. A map of the Welsh trunk road network is available here.

The Welsh Government is the highway authority for the Welsh trunk road and motorway network, including the A487.  Maintenance and operation of the A487 north of Cardigan is the responsibility of the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent.  The Welsh Government is responsible for the safety of the trunk road network.

The Learner Travel (Wales) Measure 2008 (as amended) sets out school travel policy for Wales.  Section 2 of the Measure establishes a duty to assess learner travel needs.  Learner Travel Statutory Provision and Operational Guidance (2014) (PDF 800KB) makes clear that in assessing learner travel needs the local authority must have regard to:

The nature of the route that the learner is expected to take between home and the places where they receive education or training.

The Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework (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; and

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

Paragraph 53 of the Framework says:

We recognise the importance of having safe school transport for all learners. The safety record of dedicated school transport in Wales is very good – we must work to ensure that this remains the case.

The Welsh Government issued guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales in 2009.  This guidance is to be used in setting “all local speed limits on trunk and county roads”. 

Welsh Government Action

In 2013 the Welsh Government undertook a Trunk Road Safety Review. As indicated in the Cabinet Secretary’s letter to the Chair of the Petitions Committee, following this review a 40mph speed limit was introduced on a section of the A487 at Blaenporth in 2014. 

The Welsh Government has mapped the results of the road safety review.  This indicates that the review concluded that the 60mph speed limit should be retained either side of the 40mph zone, with no engineering works or other road safety interventions proposed.

However, the Cabinet Secretary’s letter concludes:

We have recently commenced a three year Speed Limit Review looking at road safety issues at over 600 sites on all trunk roads in Wales.  I have asked my officials to take on board the comments raised within the petition as part of this process, when this section of the A487 is reviewed.

The Cabinet Secretary referred to this review in Plenary on 29 March 2017:

I am looking this year…..at the speed limit review, which is a review that examines whether speed limits should be reduced in congested areas, especially where there are schools. I’m looking to update that this very year because, as I said, I think it’s imperative that we do reduce the speed at which vehicles are travelling outside and near schools.

National Assembly for Wales action

Research Service has found no record of reference to the extension of the 40mph speed limit at Blaenporth referred to in this petition.

As the Cabinet Secretary’s letter indicates, the Petitions Committee in the Fourth Assembly considered a petition calling for “a mandatory 40mph speed limit on the A487 at Blaenporth Ceredigion”.  The petition was first considered in October 2012 and closed in September 2013 following confirmation from the then Minister that a 40mph speed limit was planned for introduction in early 2014.

 

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.