Safety on the Trunk Road Network

1. Questions to the Minister for Climate Change – in the Senedd at on 21 February 2024.

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Photo of Darren Millar Darren Millar Conservative

(Translated)

6. What action is the Welsh Government taking to improve highway safety on the trunk road network? OQ60690

Photo of Lee Waters Lee Waters Labour 2:22, 21 February 2024

Thank you very much, and I never thought I'd live to see the day where I'd see Darren Millar blush. [Laughter.]

Llywydd, we take the safety of the travelling public very seriously and have a targeted programme of improvements to address areas where there is a high density of personal injury collisions on the strategic road network.

Photo of Darren Millar Darren Millar Conservative

I'm grateful for your response. The A494 is a bane in some people's lives, particularly in the village of Llanferres in Denbighshire. It's a village where the speed limit along the A494 is 40 mph. And this is a village where there have been many near misses; many people feel that that speed limit is too high. The Welsh Government has made road safety a priority. You've been reducing speed limits on local roads, but we haven't seen many reductions in speed limits on the trunk road network. This is an area that needs a speed reduction to 30 mph, and I urge the Welsh Government to look into the appropriate speed in that village, and take action as soon as possible. Can you assure me that you will instruct your officials to do just that?

Photo of Lee Waters Lee Waters Labour 2:23, 21 February 2024

Well, I completely agree that we should look at settlements in rural areas or along the trunk road network in exactly the same way as we do on the local road network, where, as you know, we have a default 20 mph when conditions are met. I'm not sure why he's advocating 30 mph in a built-up area, not 20 mph, which is outwith the rest of the system.

I issued a written statement to Members last night, setting out the interim results of the 20 mph monitoring, and also the interim results of the review that we'd asked to be carried out into how it's being implemented. One of the conclusions of that interim review is that a further review of speed limits, in the sorts of circumstances that Darren Millar has identified, should now take place, and I hope that'll be part of their final report. I think it should be the case that where we have villages, where there are schools, where there are shops, where there are houses, where there are community centres, the same guide criteria that we have for communities on local roads should also be looked at on trunk roads, so we can have safer, slower speed limits in areas where people and traffic mix.