Posted: Thu 20th Jun 2019

A483 50mph zone to be made permanent next month – Local AM says she does 50 but people ‘overtake all the time’ for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Jun 20th, 2019

Lesley Griffiths AM has explained how she feels people do not understand why part of the bypass has a 50mph limit, and wants more blunt signage that could read ‘poor air quality kills’.

The limits have been brought in as the level of nitrogen dioxide pollution is one of the national indicators over clean air, and a reduced limit is thought to help attain those targets, as the site exceeded the legal limit.

Wrexham’s AM was giving a statement on clean air due to her role as Minister for Environment, Energy and Rural Affairs. Part of that statement touched on the nitrogen dioxide exceedance in five sites across the welsh road network.

Lesley Griffiths AM announced, “I am pleased to announce that 50 mph speed limits will be in place on a permanent basis across all five sites by the middle of July. We will be enhancing communications around the reason for the speed restrictions and providing new permanent traffic sign layouts at all sites, so that the public is aware of the importance of these measures.”

After the statement Andrew Davies AM picked up on the 50mph point, noting that such speeds would be ‘a dream for many people’ on the M4, adding “I wish you well on your public information campaign, but, if you’re saying about 50 mph, most people would say you dare not get close to 50 mph at most times of the day on that particular motorway.”

Lesley Griffiths AM replied with the A483 in mind rather than the M4, “You mentioned the five 50 mph sites. This is a really interesting thing that we brought forward. I actually have one in my own constituency, so obviously I know that one the best. I’m waiting to hear what the outcome is of that 50 mph zone.

“My concern is that people are not keeping to it. I’m going along at 50 mph and people are overtaking me, I would say, all the time. I think one of the areas where I do have concerns—and this will be addressed when we bring the five sites forward on a permanent basis—is that people don’t understand why they are 50 mph sites.

“I think we need signs saying, ‘Poor air quality kills, reduce your speed.’ We’re working on that signage, because certainly I’ve heard people say in Wrexham that they think it’s because of speed and why aren’t the police enforcing it.

“I think we need to make the public aware of why we’ve brought them in and why we’re going to make them permanent.”

Later in the debate Mark Reckless AM asked for detail, “Minister, could you clarify about the 50 mph limits? Five of them, you’re saying, are now being made permanent. What evidence have we got as to how they’ve worked in terms of reducing or otherwise the pollutants we’re concerned about?”

“Could you also clarify, I think you made a remark about the one in or near your constituency, about police perhaps not enforcing in the same way they would if it was a question of normal speeding. Are these limits dealt with by the police in the same way as ones where the issue is safety as opposed to air pollution?”

Lesley Griffiths AM replied, “In relation to the 50 mph sites, I think it’s fair to say the evidence is mixed.

“In relation to the Wrexham one, what I said was I don’t think people understand why there is a 50 mph site imposed.

“They think it’s because of traffic calming or reducing speed and they wonder why the police aren’t enforcing it. I didn’t say the police would be enforcing it in relation to carbon emissions.

“What I have said is I would like to continue with the 50 mph sites, the five of them, but there must be signage explaining exactly what the reduction is for because I don’t think people understand that. So, certainly the one in Wrexham, which I know the best because it’s in my constituency, just says, ‘Emissions reduction’.

“It’s just a little sign that says, ‘Emissions reduction’, which people clearly don’t understand.

“I don’t think people have been adhering to it because I think there has been a little bit of confusion as to what it’s for and because if they think it’s because of speed and it’s not being enforced, then they don’t stick to the 50 mph.

“Certainly, the evidence that I’ve seen from across the five sites is mixed, but I think if we have signage saying very clearly that poor air quality kills and I think that you have to sometimes shock people, then people will adhere to the reduction more willingly.”

The top image comes from this article back in September, with the section on the A483 likely to have enforcement cameras placed on it to ensure the limits are adhered to.

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