THE new 20mph default speed limit set to come into force across Wales next month is to be extended to five other locations in Monmouthshire. 

The lower limit will apply in residential and built-up areas where there is street lighting and where, typically, the 30mph limit would have applied before the new limit is brought in on September 17. 

But Monmouthshire County Council has agreed five other locations where it said the maximum speed a vehicle can travel should be no more than 20mph. It says the locations meet the criteria for the lower limit but, as there isn’t street lighting in place, they wouldn’t won’t automatically apply when the law changes in a month’s time. 

The council has also agreed 14 locations where it will retain the 30mph limit, including locations such as St Lawrence Road in Chepstow which will be an exception to the new lower limit. Other areas will see a 30mph restriction put in place, some to act as a “buffer zone” in order to gradually reduce the speed of vehicles as they head into a 20mph area. 

The areas which will be subject to the 20mph limit are:

  • The B4233 at Llanvapley;
  • Bettws Newydd, Usk;
  • The B4521 at Cross Ash;
  • Great Oak, Bryngwyn;
  • Old Hereford Road, Pen-Y-Clawdd. 

In Llanvapley, between Abergavenny and Monmouth, the lower limit will apply on the road through the village, in Bettws Newydd the road through the village and a number of side roads will be covered as will several routes through Great Oak at Bryngwyn. 

The areas where a 30mph limit will be in force are:

  • The B4347 at Rockfield;
  • The A48, Caerwent;
  • The A472, Little Mill;
  • The A4077, Gilwern;
  • The B4246, Govilon;
  • The B4269, Llanellen;
  • The B4293, Itton Common;
  • The B4293, Trellech;
  • The B4347, Grosmont;
  • The B4521, Skenfrith;
  • The A466 St Lawrence Road, Chepstow;
  • The B4233, Tal-Y-Coed;
  • The B4347, Newcastle;
  • The B4521 at Llanvetherine. 

The council had consulted on the plans with one member of the public saying they thought more should be done to encourage drivers to observe the existing 30mph limit at St Lawrence Road in Chepstow. 

They said: “Crossing the road to the Spar shop means taking your life in your hands. 30mph is currently minimum speed used here.” 

The council has said it will use additional “repeater” signs to remind drivers that, although there is street lighting, the default 20mph limit doesn’t apply. It also said it will continue to monitor speed on the stretch of the road. 

It said: “Should the monitoring reveal there is in fact a speeding issue that must be addressed, the authority will consider additional measures at this time as well as making the speed enforcement bodies aware.” 

It has said while it is aware some of the 30mph zones are shorter than the 600 metre recommended minimum distance, this is because the roads and villages are unsuitable to longer buffer zones, though it is satisfied all those it has proposed are sufficient for allowing drivers to reduce their speed as they approach a 20mph limit. 

Funding for new signs has been provided through a Welsh Government grant.