Posted: Wed 13th Sep 2023

Picturesque Gwynedd driving route exempt from new 20mph speed limit

North Wales news and information
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Sep 13th, 2023

Stretches of one of the UK’s most scenic driving routes will be exempt from the new 20mph speed limit which comes into force on Sunday.

Fears about the impact on travelling times for mountain rescue teams were highlighted ahead of a vote which means sections of the A4086 between Nant Peris and Llanberis will remain at 30mph.

A majority of councillors on Cyngor Gywnedd’s planning committee this week backed the exemption, despite one councillor whose brother died in a road traffic accident raising concerns.

Council officer Iwan ap Trefor told the meeting on Monday that objections had been received about lowering the 30mph limit on sections of the A4086 in Llanberis and Nant Peris.

Officers recommended keeping the speed restriction at 30mph on the road near Pentre Castell and between the Nant Peris park and ride facility and Pont Gwastadnant.

Members of Llanberis Community Council wanted the limit lowered as it was “supportive” of plans to reduce maximum speeds to 20mph.

But planning officers said they believed the section of road at Pentre Castell should remain at 30mph.

They said: “Because, the road is a class 1 road (A road), the number of houses on the side of the road is fewer than 20 buildings/km and the houses that do not have a private access from the main road were only on one side of the road.”

They also felt the road Nant Peris should stay at 30mph for the same reasons.

They also considered the impact on members of the Llanberis Mountain Rescue Team, who do not have the right to drive above speed restrictions in an emergency.

A council report stated: “The Restricted Roads (20mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order presented by the Welsh Government is controversial.

“Officers, therefore, are keen to keep restrictions at 30mph in appropriate areas to reduce the impact of the order.

“In accordance with the Welsh Government’s guidelines, we would like to reduce the restriction’s impact on our strategic network, especially in locations with a low housing density.”

Cllr Gareth Coj Parry said he had deeply personal reasons for voting against the recommendation, as his brother was killed when he was struck by a car outside the Eagles in Caernarfon.

He said: “For me personally, keep it at 20 – you are only a few seconds later in your journey. If you are so worried about it, start your journey earlier.”

However, the committee voted to back the officers’ recommendation to keep the speed restriction at 30mph, with 12 members in favour, two against and no abstentions.

By Dale Spridgeon – Local Democracy Reporter

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