Lack of funding thwarts Welsh speed limit review

 

Local authorities in Wales say they have been unable to complete speed limit reviews because the Welsh Government provided no funding for the work.

The Government asked the unitary authorities in 2009 to review all speed limits on A and B roads in light of new guidance which emphasised the needs of ‘vulnerable road users’ and to implement the necessary changes by the end of 2014.

However, at least one authority, Powys CC, did not undertake the review because it had a moratorium on new traffic orders. A spokesman said the authority lacked resources to change speed limits.

A Vale of Glamorgan Council spokesman said: ‘As no funding was provided for what is a significant piece of work, we are undertaking the review in a pragmatic and gradual manner. Individual roads are reviewed as and when specific concerns are raised or our highways engineering team’s work programme presents the opportunity.’

As Transport Network reported in June, Flintshire CC cited ‘low staff resources’ when explaining its amendment of only five speed limits. It subsequently appointed an agency engineer in an attempt to complete the work by November. It expects that changing the limits at the outstanding 32 locations will cost £210,000.

Several other authorities have completed reviews without completing the amendments to limits. Carmarthenshire CC, for example, has implemented 41% of identified changes.

Asked why the Welsh Government had not provided funding, and whether it would now do so, a government spokesman said: ‘We asked local authorities to review their current speed limits against the guidance we published in 2009. Local authorities are responsible for maintaining and improving their own roads.’

Road safety campaign Brake commended the Government for initiating the review, but added: ‘It is only worth setting deadlines if you are going to ensure councils have enough resources to meet them.’

 
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