25 signatures reached
To: Monmouthshire County Council and Gloucestershire County Council
50mph for the A466
Reduce the national speed limit sections of the A466 between Chepstow and Monmouth to 50mph and enforce.
Why is this important?
We believe that the national speed limit set for the A466 between Chepstow and Monmouth is unsuitable for this rural single-carriageway road for many reasons:
1) A 50mph speed limit would better reflect the A466’s many blind bends, brows, dips, unusual cambers, hidden driveways, turnings and lay-bys, around 40 pedestrian crossing points, wildlife crossing points and also the fact it has few pavements and no cycle paths. The straight stretch from Chepstow Racecourse to St. Arvans has been reduced to 50mph and there is every reason to continue this speed limit through to Monmouth.
2) It would help to reduce the excessive speeding and reckless driving that seems to be becoming the norm. For many drivers the Chepstow-Monmouth road is just a through-road or, even worse, a race-track. Speeds in excess of 60mph have been logged in village 30mph zones and reckless overtaking is often witnessed. Overtaking on single carriageway roads is one of the most dangerous manoeuvres a driver can perform.
3) Along this road there are pot holes, sunken drains and often debris such as rocks and fallen, hanging or protruding branches. It also suffers from wet and icy conditions, which means it takes far longer for vehicles to stop. At 60mph, a driver's stopping distance is 73 metres. This means if a hazard suddenly appears within this space, as is common on winding country roads, the driver stands no chance of stopping in time to prevent a crash. It also means that if a driver is going too fast they may lose control and end up in the path of an oncoming vehicle or running off the road. There was a fatality from a car collision in 2013, and this summer a road traffic accident involving a cyclist in Llandogo required an air ambulance evacuation. Also this year we have seen numerous wild deer casualties (adults and fauns) left as obstacles in the middle of the road.
4) Country roads can initially appear empty, but they are shared spaces used by vulnerable road users including pedestrians and cyclists, as well as slow moving farm vehicles and wild animals. Fast traffic not only puts lives at risk but it also harms people's quality of life by frightening them and preventing them from enjoying the countryside. As a scenic route, this stretch is one of the Land's End to John O'Groats cycle routes and it's regularly braved by cycle clubs from surrounding cities and individual cyclists. For locals and visitors without cars, the A466 is the only cycle route up and down the valley. Currently there is no alternative. As such this road must be made safer for cyclists. We also believe that more people would start cycling if the speeds on this road were reduced.
5) The lower Wye Valley road between Chepstow and Monmouth was once heralded as one of 'Britain's Best Drives'. The stunning scenery has changed little and those who still want to enjoy this drive should be allowed to without aggression from speeding vehicles. We hear all too often from visitors who've been harassed for miles by people driving dangerously close and who've seen reckless overtaking manoeuvres.
6) Noise pollution also affects people’s quality of life and the visitor experience in the Wye Valley and there is a measurable link between traffic noise and speed. Two well promoted long-distance walks follow the valley, the Wye Valley Walk and Offa's Dyke National Trail, and the road noise is a constant companion on pathways through the lower Wye Valley. Reducing speed limits on roads and increasing enforcement of speed limits is the most effective and cost efficient means of reducing noise.
Currently, local highway authorities can and do reduce the limit to 50mph on stretches of road deemed appropriate. The A466 between Chepstow and Monmouth is such a road.
How it will be delivered
Signatures will be delivered to our County Councillors to present to Monmouthshire and Gloucestershire County Council full council meetings.