What Welsh Government say about 20mph ‘buffer zones’ for roads

Last week North Wales Live reported that Welsh Government is cutting the speed limit on a busy North Wales A-road to create a 20mph “buffer”. Wales introduced a 20mph default limit on most 30mph roads in September – a controversial move that has triggered a huge backlash.

This has left some situations where 50mph and 60mph limits merge into 20mph zones – meaning a quick de-acceleration if coming into the lower limit. It was for this reason that Welsh Government chose to change the limit on the A5 on a section between Llangollen and the village of Berwyn.

It’s going from 60mph to 40mph. Welsh Government said was “intended to improve road safety by creating a buffer zone between the length of the A5 trunk road which is currently subject to a 60 mph national speed limit and the 20mph speed limit through the town of Llangollen”.

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With scores of roads across Wales in a similar situation, North Wales Live contacted the government to see if they would take a ‘blanket’ approach and taper limits on all areas where speeds change dramatically.

The Welsh Government – which has control over trunk roads like the A55, A5 and A470 – said the same approach would not necessarily be taken on every section. They said changes would only be made if “deemed appropriate”.

Powers to make the changes on other roads lies with local authorities. Welsh Government has this advice for councils.


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