Traffic Safety on A40 Llanhamlach and A470 Nant Ddu
Our concerns Our community has longstanding concerns about traffic safety in Llanhamlach and Nant Ddu where the national speed limit of 60mph is still in place. We believe local speed limits of 50 mph should be implemented as soon as possible in both villages which are also popular visitor locations. These photos show three speed-related accidents in Nant Ddu. Our case for improving traffic safety is set out our notes on A40 in Llanhamlach (including a footpath) and A470 in Nant Ddu. These were submitted to the Welsh Government (WG) for its 2014 Review of local speed limits on Trunk Roads, which aims to implement new national guidance (2009) on Setting Local Speed Limits in Wales. The recommendations of the 2014 Review support our case for 50mph local speed limits.
In addition, in March 2016 we made the case to WG for improvements to traffic safety at three unsigned crossings through the central reservation of the A40 near Millbrook just outside Llanhamlach village, where accidents frequently occur. Minister Hart confirmed in April 2016 that the crossings would be reviewed to see if improvements are needed.
Current position – May 2017 The WG failed to publish its recommendations or the draft Traffic Regulation Order for Llanhamlach in 2016/17. The Community Council has asked our AM to enquire when publication and consultation can now be expected to start.
Progress in 2016/17 The Community Council with the help of AM Kirsty Williams, MP Chris Davies and County Councillor Liam Fitzpatrick continued to press the WG for fair and consistent treatment for Llanhamlach and Nant Ddu and early action on implementation of traffic safety measures. In February 2017 the new Police & Crime Commissioner – Dafydd Llywelyn – added his support for early implementation and received the following assurances. In August 2016, the Cabinet Secretary had finally confirmed that Llanhamlach meets the criteria for a 50mph local speed limit and in November 2016 gave the following anticipated timescale: FY 2016/17 – Recommendations from studies on the three A40 crossings near Millbrook and footpath in Llanhamlach; Consult on Traffic Order for Llanhamlach. FY 2017/18 – Implementation of Nant Ddu and probably Llanhamlach 50mph local speed limits.
Our request for fair treatment – March 2016 From the evidence we gathered, we saw that Nant Ddu, Llanhamlach and Llanspyddid (also on A40 – west of Brecon) are the only villages on trunk roads across Breconshire and Radnorshire that qualify for a local speed limit but still have the national speed limit of 60mph. In March 2016, Llanfrynach and Glyn Tarrel Community Councils submitted a joint statement and request to the Minister setting out our special case for early action for fair and consistent treatment with 50mph local speed limits.
Further information from WG following the 2014 Review Our AM Kirsty Williams has obtained more information – (a) a letter from the Minister in September 2015 giving timescales and some further details, and (b) list of details and timescales as of February 2016 for all of the 36 Review recommendations across Brecon and Radnorshire.
WG conclusions from the 2014 Review The Review recommendations were published in summary in January 2015 on the Traffic Wales website and updated later in that year. The Traffic Wales statement for Llanhamlach and Nant Ddu (now out-of-date with current position, but still on the website – May 2017) is given below.
A40 – Llanhamlach – Decision Reduction in speed limit to 50mph subject to outcome of 50mph speed limit trial on A479. Detailed study to be undertaken. Prioritised programme of engineering works In short term (1 – 2 years)
A470 – Nant Ddu – Decision Speed limit to be reduced to 50mph at Nant Ddu (2017/18 at earliest). Prioritised programme of engineering works In medium term (3 – 5 years)
50mph speed limit trial on A479 This covered a predominantly rural 6-mile stretch with two very small villages between Tretower and Talgarth ending July 2016. The 3-year trial sought to provide evidence to help decide whether or not a reduction in speed limit will reduce the number of accidents here. The Community Council considers that traffic safety issues on this stretch have little read-across to Llanhamlach.
Local involvement in the 2014 Review Kirsty Williams as AM facilitated local site meetings with the Welsh Government’s Network Management Division to discuss our community concerns in July 2014. Kirsty also asked residents to write to her with specific concerns about traffic safety. The July meetings are summarised in the Community Council’s August press release. The Brecon and Radnor Express reported our actions on 18 September and BBC News – Mid Wales on 21 September. The Police and Crime Commissioner also offered support to the people of Llanhamlach in their action to get its traffic safety issues addressed. Kirsty Williams asked a question in the Senedd on 11 November about lowering speed limits in the villages that are cut through by the A40.