Exceptions to 20mph legislation – statutory consultation opens
Welsh Government’s new 20mph legislation will come into force on Sunday 17 September 2023 from which date all councils across Wales will have a legal duty to introduce 20mph on all restricted roads.
In November 2022 Welsh Government also introduced ‘exceptions criteria’. The purpose of this was to provide local councils with some flexibility to retain 30mph speed limits, where appropriate, on some restricted roads, providing that the criteria were met.
To apply an ‘exception’ to a restricted road, local councils must have a clear and reasoned case for doing so, which demonstrates that strong evidence exists that retaining a higher speed limit would be safe. Not all existing 30mph roads will meet this test, although it is likely that stretches along some roads will.
Following an assessment of local roads using Welsh Government’s ‘exception’ criteria, and working closely with County Councillors, a number of roads in Flintshire have been identified as possible exceptions which have been available for viewing on DataMap Wales https://datamap.gov.wales/maps/roads-affected-by-changes-to-the-speed-limit-on-re/
A formal process of consultation on the proposed changes to the roads listed below opened on 28 July 2023, for a Statutory Consultation period of 3 weeks, closing on Friday 18 August.
• A549 Mold Road, Mynydd Isa
• A549 Chester Road / Dirty Mile - Little Mountain, Buckley
• B5127 Liverpool Road, Buckley
• B5128 Church Road, Buckley
• Drury Lane, Buckley
• St Davids Park, Ewloe
• White Farm Road, Buckley
• A541 Hendre
• A541 Denbigh Road, Mold
• A5104 Warren Bank Interchange, Broughton
• A5026 Holway Road, Holywell
• B5121 Greenfield Road, Holywell
• B5129 Kelsterton Road, Kelsterton
• B5129 Queensferry Roundabout
More information about the proposed changes and how to comment can be found on the Council’s website. Notices have been publicised in the local press and will be erected at the location of the proposals. An information pack will be available for public inspection at the Council’s Connect Centres between 9am and 4.30pm on the days listed below:
• Buckley – Tuesday or Thursday
• Connah’s Quay and Holywell - Monday to Friday
• Mold – Monday, Wednesday or Friday
Although it is possible to formally advertise these proposed changes over the summer, the required Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO’s) cannot be legally implemented until after the 17 September 2023 following the introduction of the new legislation. Until the statutory consultation process has been completed, it is not possible to say how many of the roads listed above will change to 30mph, but for those that do this means that on 17th September they will default to 20mph and will not be changed to 30mph until the Traffic Regulation Orders have been implemented. How long it will take for the traffic regulation orders to be implemented will depend upon the number of responses received to the statutory consultation and the process of formal consideration and response.
After the introduction of the 20mph national legislative change in September, local communities will be able to put forward further roads for consideration for an exemption via the Council’s website. More information about how residents can do this will be made available in the autumn.
NOTE: Although related to the Council’s preparation work for 20mph, the statutory consultation process which opened on Friday 21 July, and which closes on Friday 11 August, is separate to the proposed ‘exceptions’ process now being advertised and relates to the potential for existing speed limits to be increased above 30mph on a small number of roads across the county. More information about these proposals is available on the Council’s website https://www.flintshire.gov.uk/en/Resident/Council-Apps/NewsPortlet.aspx?id=14550
*Please note the statutory consultation period is now closed*