The county councillors for the two areas have held six public meetings over the last week to hear residents’ views on proposed 20mph zones.
Cllr Richard John and Cllr Jayne McKenna hosted meetings in Dingestow, Mitchel Troy, Catbrook, The Narth, Penallt and Llanishen, where they heard a broad range of views on road safety and speed limits.
The Welsh government has recently passed legislation introducing a presumption of 20mph in residential areas and the council’s cabinet has approved plans for 20mph zones in Wye Valley villages, some of which are not included in Welsh government legislation.
Catbrook, Penallt, The Narth and Mitchel Troy Common only have derestricted roads, which means they are national speed limit because they don’t have regular street lights.
Cllr Richard John said: “We’re really grateful to the residents in all these villages who’ve taken the time to attend our meetings and share their views with us.
“We felt very strongly that blanket 20mph zones shouldn’t be imposed on communities, but instead changes in each village should be bespoke and appropriate to the specific road safety challenges.
“While many residents support steps to reduce speed limits to improve safety, there are understandable concerns about protecting the character of each village and not introducing too much street clutter and signage.
“We will be providing feedback to the council’s highways officers at the start of September, ahead of the final decisions on the layout of speed limit changes in November and then implementation within this financial year by the end of March.”
Cllr Jayne McKenna said: “At each meeting we explained the draft proposals that the council’s highways team has put together, but what’s essential is that the council benefits from the expertise and local knowledge of residents.
“Every village is different and we can’t have Welsh government or the council just imposing blanket 20mph speed limits so we’ve been trying to get an accurate reflection of residents’ views on measures that are appropriate and sensitive to the character of each village.
“While there was majority support for a new 20mph zone in most villages, it was generally felt that the zones should be located only where necessary, that intrusive signage should be minimised and that Gwent Police lead on enforcement.
“Many residents have shared their views with us over email and we would encourage more residents in Dingestow, Mitchel Troy, Penallt, Catbrook, The Narth and Llanishen to do so before we feedback to council officers at the start of September.
‘’This is the first time in generations that there’s funding available to improve road safety in rural villages in Monmouthshire so it’s vital the council gets these changes right and we hope the engagement we’re leading will help.”