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Call for Pembrokeshire 20mph speed limit discussion withdrawn

20mph sign (pic: Pembrokeshire County Council)

A CALL for a Pembrokeshire working party to discuss the 20mph limit by area rather than the “blanket” roll-out has been withdrawn as a council scrutiny group will consider the matter.

The Welsh Government passed legislation last July which saw the speed limit on residential, built-up streets reduced from 30mph to 20, other than agreed exceptions, throughout Wales from September 17 of last year.

Welsh Government says the 20mph default speed limit is expected to result in 40 per cent fewer road collisions, save six to 10 lives every year and avoid 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.

A Notice of Motion before Pembrokeshire County Council’s February Cabinet meeting, by Pembroke Dock Bufferland councillor Michele Wiggins said: “The Welsh government have agreed to work collaboratively with local highway authorities to reflect on the application of the guidance in different parts of Wales.

“As a councillor for Pembrokeshire I agree with the 20mph, but not a blanket roll-out.

“I would like to put a Notion of Motion together for a working party to discuss areas as a large proportion of Pembrokeshire residents and businesses do not agree with the blanket limit and this is a democracy.”

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Earlier this year, members of the county council’s Cabinet backed a series of exemptions in the county, where the 30mph limit is retained.

A report for Cabinet members recommended that any decision on a working group was deferred.

The report concluded: “Extensive work has been undertaken to date to introduce the 20mph and there is recognition there has been concerns raised by some motorists in Pembrokeshire. It has also placed significant workload on officers to deliver the work, and that work still continues in terms of introducing buffer limits.

“Given the scale of this scheme, council resources have been very stretched, and there is no spare capacity within the team to either consider new requests, or to support extensive review work.

“Normally, when new speed limits are introduced, the council’s time-scale is 12 months post implementation for any review, to allow time for any new scheme to ‘bed in,’ or the full extent of issues to be evidenced.”

At the February meeting, Cllr Wiggins withdrew her motion, saying she was content the council’s services overview and scrutiny committee would be considering the matter once modelling on the buffer zones had been completed, expected in late March, and a Welsh Government review undertaken.

The introduction of the default 20mph speed limit on the majority of 30mph roads in Wales sparked protests and sign vandalism in many areas, including Martletwy, Crymych, Hermon and Mynachlogddu, with signs daubed with paint.

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