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Consultation to be launched on 20mph limit in village near Newtown

The 30 mph sign at the village of Kerry near Newtown (Pic: Google Streetview)

A CONSULTATION is set to be held on proposed changes to the speed limit in a village near Newtown down to 20 mph.

Powys County Council’s Highways officers want to start the process of implementing the new speed limit along parts of the A489 and the C2012 road in the centre of Kerry near the primary school where those roads are currently 30 mph.

The report explained: “Concerns regarding the speed of traffic travelling along the A489 through Kerry, particularly past the school and the village square where the church, post office and other public facility premises are located, has been expressed by local residents and the community council for a good number of years.

“Disappointment has also been expressed by many local residents to both the local highway authority and to the ward county councillor since September 2023 that the speed limit along the A489 through Kerry was not lowered from 30mph to 20mph in September 2023.”

The A489 going through the village of Kerry (Pic: Google Streetview)

A 20 mph sign would be placed near a house called Argoed and at a location past the western boundary of the primary school.

The report said: “This 20 mph extent would encompass the school, the village shop, church, chapel, the hair salon and the two public houses, where pedestrians are regularly encountered crossing the A489.”

To the east of the school the speed limit would go from 40 mph to 20 mph as the 30 mph “transitional speed limit” has been deemed “too short” to be kept.

The report adds that the Powys County Councillor for Kerry, Conservative Cllr Benjamin Breeze has “expressed support” for the proposal.

The £5,000 cost for the speed limit changes would come from Welsh Government funding to roll out 20 mph across the country.

The decision to hold the consultation is expected to be taken by Cabinet member for Highways, Cllr Jackie Charlton on Monday, January 22 and would come in force five working days later on Monday, January 29.

St Michael’s Church In Wales Primary School in Kerry (Pic: Google Streetview)

The 20 mph speed limit has proved to be controversial with signs in Powys and many other parts of Wales vandalised since it came into force on September 17, 2023.

Nationally there have been protest marches and to date over 468, 000 people have signed a petition calling for the 20mph limit to be revoked.

The legislation for the new speed limit was passed by the Welsh Government in July 2022 and fulfilled a manifesto pledge from the 2021 Senedd elections.

The Welsh Government has said that having a 20mph default speed limit is expected to result in 40 per cent fewer road collisions.

This in turn would save up to 10 lives and stop up to 2,000 people being injured every year.

The government has accepted that the policy needs to be “fine-tuned” due to inconsistencies in approach between local authorities across Wales.

A review of the implementation of the speed limit will take place this year which has been backed by Welsh Government ministers Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles.

But there are no plans to scrap the speed limit.

Both Mr Gething and Mr Miles are standing in the contest to succeed Mark Drakeford as leader of Welsh Labour and First Minister of Wales.