The roll out of the Welsh Governments 20mph speed restriction is causing amusement, and concern for some motorists with a petition to force the Senedd to reconsider the idea already hitting nearly half a million signatures writes DES PUGH.

On Tuesday, just 48 hours after it came in, First Minister Mark Drakeford responded to the petition saying the law would not be reassessed, using one word... ‘No’.

However as the political fall-out continued in the background, motorists were finding out where the 20mph speed restrictions were being imposed.

Rockfield village has seen a 20mph restriction applied within the current 30mph simply because there are street lamps there.

The 20mph lasts for 100 yards before reverting back to 30mph, on a stretch of road where there are no pavements or houses.

And in Raglan, the 40mph on Monmouth Road has been lowered to 30mph which then drops to 20mph on the brow, and of more concern is that the 20mph at the other end of the village comes into force yards from the roundabout, so that vehicles will have to drop 40mph in the space of two seconds.

With a temporary drop in speed limit on the A40 Abergavenny to the Hardwick due to a “defective safety barrier and a “likelihood of danger to the public”, Raglan residents are frustrated that the accident black spot on the bypass on which they have called for speed restrictions for over two years, backed by the local MS Peter Fox and county councillors Jayne McKenna and Richard John, has been ignored.

A proposed prohibition of right turn was effectively knocked on the head after it was identified by Sustrans as a cycle route saying any restrictions would affect users of their cycle route which follows Monmouth Road and crosses the A40 at that location.

Commenting on the news that a Senedd petition calling for the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the 20mph law, has now passed 431,000 signatures, a Senedd petition record, Welsh Conservative MS for South Wales East, Laura Anne Jones MS said: “For more than 400,000 people to sign a petition within such a short space of time highlights the extent of public outrage towards Labour’s disastrous policy. Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda.

“Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales”

Councillors for Mitchel Troy and Trellech, Richard John and Jayne McKenna, have expressed their frustration at the news that the Welsh Government has slapped a 50mph limit on the length of the A40 from Raglan to Abergavenny, which leaves a known accident blackspot at national speed limit.

The South Wales Trunk Road Agency, which maintains the trunk road network on behalf of the Welsh Government has had an order approved for a reduced speed limit of 50mph for a period of up to 18 months due to a ‘defective safety barrier’.

On enquiring with Welsh Government exactly how long the temporary 50mph speed limit would be in place, the councillors were told:

“We can confirm the 50mph speed limit on the A40 between Raglan and Abergavenny has been introduced as a temporary measure to reduce the risk presented by life expired barriers and to ensure the safety of the travelling public. Once the barriers have been replaced, the National Speed Limit will be reinstated. Provision of the barriers will be subject to Welsh Government programmes and prioritisation of funding.”

The dangerous junctions at Raglan, where there are three right hand turns across the A40 are on the boundary between the two wards of Raglan and Mitchel Troy and Trellech United.

Cllr Jayne McKenna said, “Of course, safety needs to come first, but this does feel like a slap in the face for local residents who’ve been fighting for years to get a 50mph limit from the Raglan roundabout to the junction with the A449.

“The A40 and the A465 are one of the main arterial routes to West Wales and now the dangerous section near Raglan is one of the few stretches between Monmouth and Swansea that isn’t 50mph.

“We’ve been campaigning for years alongside Cllr Penny Jones, Peter Fox MS, David Davies MP, community councillors in Raglan and Mitchel Troy and residents to secure road safety changes and we’re still waiting for the Welsh Government’s road safety audit.”

Cllr Richard John said, “It’s deeply frustrating that we can’t get a proper answer from Welsh Government as to when this work is going to be undertaken. It’s not fair for them to impose an indefinite 50mph speed limit and refuse to tell residents when the work to repair an old central reservation barrier is going to be undertaken.

“Instead we’re all being fobbed off with woolly statements about it being subject to ‘prioritisation of funding’, which just leaves everyone in limbo.

“Welsh Government seem perfectly able to find funding for particular pet projects when they want to, so I really hope they will prioritise fixing this stretch of road, but also getting on with the road safety review at Raglan so we can finally make progress on addressing this longstanding accident blackspot.”