The South Wales Trunk Road Agency, which maintains the trunk road network on behalf of the Welsh Government has had an order approved for a reduced speed limit of 50mph for a period of up to 18 months due to a ‘defective safety barrier’.
On enquiring with Welsh Government exactly how long the temporary 50mph speed limit would be in place, the councillors were told:
“We can confirm the 50mph speed limit on the A40 between Raglan and Abergavenny has been introduced as a temporary measure to reduce the risk presented by life expired barriers and to ensure the safety of the travelling public. Once the barriers have been replaced, the National Speed Limit will be reinstated. Provision of the barriers will be subject to Welsh Government programmes and prioritisation of funding.”
The dangerous junctions at Raglan, where there are three right hand turns across the A40 are on the boundary between the two wards of Raglan and Mitchel Troy and Trellech United.
Cllr Jayne McKenna said, “Of course, safety needs to come first, but this does feel like a slap in the face for local residents who’ve been fighting for years to get a 50mph limit from the Raglan roundabout to the junction with the A449.
“The A40 and the A465 are one of the main arterial routes to West Wales and now the dangerous section near Raglan is one of the few stretches between Monmouth and Swansea that isn’t 50mph.
“We’ve been campaigning for years alongside Cllr Penny Jones, Peter Fox MS, David Davies MP, community councillors in Raglan and Mitchel Troy and residents to secure road safety changes and we’re still waiting for the Welsh Government’s road safety audit.”
Cllr Richard John said, “It’s deeply frustrating that we can’t get a proper answer from Welsh Government as to when this work is going to be undertaken. It’s not fair for them to impose an indefinite 50mph speed limit and refuse to tell residents when the work to repair an old central reservation barrier is going to be undertaken.
“Instead we’re all being fobbed off with woolly statements about it being subject to ‘prioritisation of funding’, which just leaves everyone in limbo.
“Welsh Government seem perfectly able to find funding for particular pet projects when they want to, so I really hope they will prioritise fixing this stretch of road, but also getting on with the road safety review at Raglan so we can finally make progress on addressing this longstanding accident blackspot.”