Y Pwyllgor Deisebau | 10 Mawrth 2020 
 Petitions Committee | 10 March 2020 
 ,Petition: Improvements to the A487 between Gellilydan and Maentwrog





Research Briefing:

Petition Number: P-05-943

Petition title: We call on the Welsh Government to take urgent action to secure improvements to the A487 between Gellilydan and Maentwrog

Text of petition:

We are asking the Welsh Government to take urgent action to ensure that tangible improvements are made to the A487 between Gellilydan and Maentwrog following the tragic and devastating accidents that have occurred there in the last two years.

We must make sure that a definite change is made to the road so that such disasters do not happen again.


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. This petition refers to a section of the road between Gellilydan and Maentwrog in Gwynedd.

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 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 reports on British EuroRAP road safety results.  These include risk maps for major roads in Britain which may give you an indication of the relative level of risk on the A487.

The 2019 UK EuroRAP reportincludes the risk map for Wales on page 47.  You will note that the A487 is assessed a “low-medium risk”. The methodology is described on page 46 as follows:

…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, the risk on a road carrying 10,000 vehicles a day with 20 crashes is ten times the risk on a road that has the same number of crashes but which carries 100,000 vehicles.

While the A487 as whole is assessed as low-medium risk, as outlined in this media article there have been a number of fatal accidents on the stretch road of the road identified in the petition in recent years.


Welsh Government action

The Minister for Economy, Transport and North Wales’ letter to the Chair, dated 12 February 2020, sets out that work at this location to improve road safety began on 3 February 2020. Work includes:

…signing and safety barrier work …[a]… new 40mph speed restriction…[and]…speed measuring equipment.

 The letter also outlines that road surfacing work will be taking place and that the Welsh Government is:

…currently investigating the nature of the existing surfacing in order to decide on the exact requirements for new surface.

As published on the Welsh Government’s website, the  A487 Trunk Road (Gelllilydan, Gwynedd) (40 mph speed limit) Order 2020 came into force on 13 February 2020.


National Assembly for Wales action

Although this particular section of the A487 has not previously been discussed by the Assembly, the Committee has considered a number of petitions relating to other sections of the road. Your predecessor Committee of the fourth Assembly also received petitions on the A487. These have included petitions relating to different sections of the road calling for:

§    The introduction of a mandatory 40mph speed limit on the A487 at Blaenporth Ceredigion;

§    The de-trunking of sections of the road;

§    A Reduction of the speed limit in Penparcau;

§    Speed calming measures in Tre-Taliesin; and

§    Road safety improvements between Cardigan and Aberystwyth.


In 2018, Rhun ap Iorwerth AM, previously a Member of the Petitions Committee stated that:

…the A487 is one of our big problems in terms of our trunk road network in Wales. The A470 and the A487 together form the north-west to the south routes and, frankly, the A487 is worse than the A470 in terms of the villages it goes through, and it needs addressing.