Work to prepare Powys roads for the upcoming default 20mph speed limit will begin this week.
On 17 September, the Welsh Government will introduce a default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads across Wales. Restricted roads are generally those where streetlights are placed no more than 200 yards apart and are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity.
The move will see Wales become the first UK nation to introduce a lower speed limit following in the footsteps of European countries, such as Spain, where 30km/h (18.5mph) is already in place.
Evidence shows reducing the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on these roads, will see a number of benefits including a reduction in road collisions and serious injury, more people walking and cycling and improvements to health and wellbeing.
In preparation for the changes the council will be working to remove some of the existing speed limit markings, or roundels, on the county’s roads. Changes to signage will also be programmed, ready for the 17 September start date. Replacement roundels and other signage changes will continue to be introduced after the implementation date.
“The Welsh Government have taken a bold move to implement the new 20mph default speed limit across the country,” explains Cllr Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, “but the benefits we can hope to see around slower driving speeds, improved safety and increased levels of cycling and walking, will go a long way to out-way and reluctance for change.
“Findings from other 20mph implementations in the UK and the trials here in Wales, show that even small reductions in average traffic speeds where people live and work can result in substantial reductions in collisions and serious injury, helping to make communities safer.
“The new 20mph speed limit will also complement our increasing network of active travel routes across the county, where we encourage people to make short, local journeys on foot or bicycle, rather than the car. It is especially hoped that more Powys families will confidently choose to walk or cycle to and from school, knowing the roads will be safer.
“Although still some months away, September will soon be here, so work to prepare for the change will begin in earnest across the county as soon as possible to make sure we are ready for 20!”