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Y Pwyllgor Deisebau | 11 Gorffennaf 2016
 Petitions Committee | 11 July 2017
 
 
 Petition: P-05-767 A487 trunk road through Tre-Taliesin

 

 

 


Research Briefing:

Petition number: P-05-767

Petition title: A487 Trunk Road Through Tre-Taliesin: Urgent Need for Effective Speed-Calming Measures

Text of petition:

We call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to introduce effective traffic speed-calming measures along the A487 Trunk Road which flows directly through the middle of the neighbouring villages of Tre-Taliesin and Tre-r-ddol, and to consult and seek the views of local residents living in these villages.

The A487 is the major North to South Wales Trunk road running along the breadth of the West Wales Coast. This Trunk Road carries high and increasing volume of speeding vehicles and heavy goods traffic into and through the narrow middle of the Ceredigion villages of Tre-Taliesin and Tre-r-ddol. In late 2016, villagers formed the A487 Taliesin Action Group. This local action group has met and communicated closely with the LLangynfelyn Community Council, Dyfed Powys Police, Ceredigion County Council and the local Member of Parliament to undertake an analysis of the issues and potential solutions. The group have also raised their concerns and offered to meet and share their views with the North West Wales Trunk Road Agency, but this invitation has not been accepted to date.

It important that villagers who live day to day with the speeding traffic are listened to and their views fully taken into account by the Welsh Government, in order for effective speed calming measures which safeguards the villagers and road users, to be planned and implemented.

 

Background

Under the Highways Act 1980, the Welsh Government is the highway authority for the Welsh trunk road and motorway network in Wales. This includes the A487 which it describes as a, “major trunk road in West Wales” linking Bangor in the north, to Haverfordwest in the south. As the highway authority responsible for maintaining trunk roads and motorways, the Welsh Government works with two trunk road agents, the South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA) and the North and Mid Wales Trunk Road Agent (NMWTRA), to manage, maintain and improve the network.

Figure 1 Roads maintained by SWTRA and NMWTRA on behalf of the Welsh Government. Source: Welsh Government Website. Accessed 26 June 2017.

Regarding the A487, the NMWTRA states:

The A487 carries significant levels of Heavy Goods Vehicles all year and heavy tourist traffic during the summer period and commuter traffic in localised areas. It also provides a corridor for public transport, serving the surrounding towns and villages, rural businesses, schools and leisure activities.

The A487 corridor is predominantly single carriageway and with varying standard throughout.

The Road Safety Foundation, a UK road casualty reduction charity, is a partner of the European Road Assessment Programme (EuroRAP), an international not for profit association whose purpose is to promote safer roads.  The Road Safety Foundation publishes annual reports on British EuroRAP road safety results, inclusive of a detailed risk maps. Past reports, such as those for 2013, 2014 and 2015, are available on the Foundation’s website. These risk maps provide risk ratings which indicate the, “statistical risk of death or serious injury” occurring on roads. On its risk calculation methodology, the Foundation states:

The risk is calculated by comparing the frequency of road crashes resulting in death and serious injury on every stretch of road with how much traffic each road is carrying. For example, if there are 20 crashes on a road carrying 10,000 vehicles a day, the risk is 10 times higher than if the road has the same number of collisions but carries 100,000 vehicles.

In 2013, the risk rating produced by the Foundation for the section of the A487 encompassing the Taliesin to Tre’r Ddol section was assessed as medium risk (based on 2007-2011 data). In 2014 the risk increased to medium to high risk (2010-2012 data) and the most recent rating in 2015 assessed the road as medium risk (2011-2013 data).

 

Welsh Government action

The Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework, published in 2013, sets out the Government’s road safety targets and actions.  For all Welsh roads by 2020, the Welsh Government wants to see the following compared to the average for 2004-2008:

§    40% fewer people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads;

§    25% fewer motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads; and

§    40% fewer young people (aged 16-24) killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads.

The Welsh Government’s National Transport Finance Plan commits to, “deliver the actions set out in the Road Safety Framework for Wales” through to 2020 and beyond, and to deliver the Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools programme.

The Welsh Government has reviewed speed limits on the trunk road network, giving due consideration to the nature of the road, safety of the road and use of the road by the community. This was undertaken in line with its guidance on Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales(PDF 197KB), used for setting all local speed limits on trunk and county roads (excluding motorways) in urban and rural areas.

The outcome of this review are detailed on the Trunk Road Safety Review website. The review website states that trunk road safety is continually monitored to identify potential road safety improvements, and that the review of speed limits is an ongoing process.

For the ‘A487 Taliesin Start 40mph to Tre'r Ddol End 40mph’ section, the review concluded that the existing speed limits of 30 and 40 mph should be retained, with the implementation of a prioritised programme of engineering work and Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools works to commence in 2017/18 at the earliest.

In a written update (PDF 192 KB) to all Assembly Members on Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools in October 2015, the then Minister for Economy, Science and Transport Edwina Hart confirmed that the implementation of part-time 20mph speed limits at 41 additional schools had been identified as part of a three year, £4.5m rolling programme. Ysgol Gynradd Llangyfelyn in Taliesin was one of these schools and is listed as a priority for 2017/18.

The letter from the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure to the Chair regarding this petition, notes that the Welsh Government has received correspondence on this matter from the local community expressing concerns which it has, “logged for consideration” as part of its ongoing work. The Cabinet Secretary goes on to state that the Welsh Government will be investigating possible safety measures for the A487 through Taliesin and Tre’r Ddol this financial year, via a speed survey and pedestrian crossing assessment.

 

National Assembly for Wales action

In response to a question on trunk road safety (PDF 931 KB) following an incident near Tre’r Ddol in 2009, the then Deputy First Minister and Minister for the Economy and Transport, Ieuan Wyn Jones stated:

I am not in a position to give you a direct answer about this specific location. I have listened carefully to the points that you raised and I will write to you with details about the situation, responding to your points on the accident. Generally speaking, the safety record of Welsh roads is particularly good. We met almost all of our 2010 targets, and that is a good position to be in, looking forward to the new safety target for 2020, but we will always try to improve on that.

Responding to a question in Plenary on improving road safety in mid and west Wales in March 2017, the Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure, Ken Skates stated:

I’m keen to see more 20 mph zones introduced around schools […] Other measures must be introduced and I do believe that we should look at reducing the speed of motorists passing places of education. For the next financial year, as the Member has highlighted, we’ll be making available almost £4 million in road safety capital grants to fund 31 road casualty reduction schemes across 16 local authorities, and we’re also delivering schemes that are benefiting 21 schools across Wales. But I do think that we need to continue to roll out our Safe Routes to Trunk Road Schools programme, which is seeing a huge number of schools in areas that are adjacent to trunk roads have 20 mph limits introduced. […] I am looking this year— the Member may be interested to know—at the speed limit review, which is a review that examines whether speed limits should be reduced in congested areas, especially where there are schools. I’m looking to update that this very year because, as I said, I think it’s imperative that we do reduce the speed at which vehicles are travelling outside and near schools.

Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this briefing is correct at the time of publication. Readers should be aware that these briefings are not necessarily updated or otherwise amended to reflect subsequent changes.