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A NEWPORT councillor is questioning the lack of scrutiny on the decision to change roads in Newport to 20mph.

During the Covid-19 pandemic the council implemented temporary 20mph speed limits on certain roads to encourage people to walk or cycle – this was funded by the Welsh Government.

Conservative councillor David Fouweather said:

“They are making life for drivers as difficult as possible. It should come back to scrutiny and allow people to have a say.”

He added:

“I have seen people doing 20mph and then being overtaken, therefore creating more of a danger. Some people in Allt-yr-yn don’t realise the roads have changed to 20mph and end up getting a speeding ticket.”

The councillor was told by the head of city services, Stephen Jarret, that respective ward members and Gwent Police were consulted prior to implementation.

Mr Jarrett said:

“Decreasing speeds not only saves lives, but helps improve people’s quality of life – making our streets and communities a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst helping reduce our environmental impact.

“Therefore, whilst it is acknowledged that the current traffic orders are temporary, there are no plans to remove the 20mph limits prior to the introduction of the national default 20mph next year.”

In September 2023, the default speed limit will become 20mph for restricted roads, in-line with Welsh Government legislation. Councils will be able to make exceptions to this, with further guidance for local authorities expected to be published soon.

A spokesperson for Newport City Council said:

“The six 20mph zones within the city were all urban areas with high population density and infrastructure, where a reduction in the local speed limit would give maximum benefit to communities wishing to actively travel.

“The decision to maintain the current 20mph sites is supportive of the pending national default speed limit change, supports objectives in the council’s wellbeing plan, corporate plan and sustainable travel plan, therefore there are no plans to refer this decision to the scrutiny committee.”

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