Safer streets save lives and improves our quality of life was the message from the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters today as he welcomed the rollout of Wales’s largest 20mph pilot in Cardiff North.
Cardiff North is one of eight pilots that is being rolled out in communities across Wales to help test the process of reducing Wales’ national default speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets from 30mph to 20mph by 2023.
The pilots are part of wider consultation work that the Welsh Government is undertaking to understand public feedback on the change. Online focus groups with residents from communities involved in the first phase, independently commissioned research, and a public consultation – results out today – are all being considered ahead of a full rollout next year.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said:
“The evidence is clear, decreasing speeds not only reduces accidents and 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.
“As with any cultural change we know it takes time to win hearts and minds and inevitably we will face some challenge, but I am confident that if we all work together we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future. ”
Whitchurch in Cardiff is one of the areas taking part in the first phase. Teachers and pupils from the local primary school have welcomed the move and were keen to share with the Deputy Minister their thoughts on the scheme and what they are doing to promote walking and cycling locally when he visited.
Head teacher at Whitchurch Primary School, Ann Griffin said:
“We are delighted to be playing such a prominent role in this exciting and very important initiative.
“Reducing the speed limit on our roads will not only make them safer but also help to promote alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling.
“Active travel is a key part of the curriculum at our school and our children play an active role in encouraging others to make more sustainable and active travel choices.”
Cardiff Council’s Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning and Transport, Cllr Caro Wild added:
“As a council, we have been installing 20mph areas across the city, south of the A48, for a number of years now.
“Slowing vehicle speeds in residential areas is a positive step forward for our local communities and is supported by the majority of residents. Research clearly shows that reducing vehicle speeds in residential areas does reduce the number and severity of road collisions, provides better opportunities for residents to walk and cycle, makes our streets healthier and improves the environment for everyone.”