COUNCILLORS have called upon the authorities to “act now” after speeds of more than 50mph were recorded in a village 20mph zone.
Ponciau councillor Paul Pemberton said patrols he has conducted with PCSOs Sofia Iftikar and Dan Williams found some motorists hitting speeds of 52mph on Broad Street in Rhos.
He said the time has come for Go Safe, who carry out speed checks, to better enforce the 20mph limits in Rhos, saying there is “deliberate disregard” for the limits in the area from drivers.
At a meeting of Rhos Community Council, Bernie Clarke said “lives were being endangered” by motorists overtaking on kerbs in the village in the 20mph zones.
Go Safe said 20mph speed limits zones are enforceable and decisions for deploying speed traps are taken on a “case-by-case basis”.
If there is a “clear disregard” of speed limits and an “obvious and real danger to the public”, then enforcement will be a consideration, Go Safe bosses said.
But Cllr Pemberton said: “I’m very unhappy about the situation. When we set up this scheme, there was no mention of it only being enforced if people are in danger.
“If they won’t come out, I feel the whole scheme is a waste of public money.
“I’ve got verified figures from when we went out to monitor speeds across the village and 52mph was the top speed recorded in the 20mph zone on Broad Street.
“There were some doing more than 50 mph, others doing more than 40 mph, and there were hundreds recorded doing over 30 mph.
“There is clearly disregard for the limits.
“We fought hard for this 20mph zone in the village for residents safety and I’m very annoyed.
“We’d be better off with an enforcable 30mph than a 20mph which can’t be enforced.
“To me, we’ve been made a laughing stock.”
Cllr Pemberton added he had sent a copy of the speed survey figures to North Wales Police (NWP) Wrexham Rural inspector Jackie Downes.
Previously NWP said the 20mph zone was “self-policing”, due to a series of chicanes and speed bumps installed in the low speed area.
Cllr David Bithell said: “There is a legal order for the 20mph zone and it is important to stress it is a legal 20mph zone.
“I’ve got speed surveys on Heol Kenyon and Bangor Road with clear breaches of the speed limit. They have been forwarded to the rural inspector.
“When the 20mph zone was introduced, it was to support the local community by reducing speeds in built-up areas.
“I support that notion but there needs to be a balance as it is a very low speed. It can’t just be a cash cow for tickets.
“We have clear examples of motorists exceeding the limits and we need Go Safe here – as it should be enforced.”
Bernie Clarke, a community councillor, said: “On Fennant Road I saw a car being overtaken and the car doing the overtaking mounted the kerb to be able to do so.
“People are being overtaken inside a 20 mph zone and lives are being endangered.”
Chris Hume, partnership manager at Go Safe, said: “The management of speeds in urban areas is a crucial aspect of road safety and is critical in terms of ensuring we continue to reduce road deaths and serious injuries.
“Speed limit enforcement is possible in all speed limits and the key message that the general public need to appreciate is that there are no enforcement-free locations
“Within Go Safe, our policy of enforcement site selection includes all speed limits and we examine those locations on a case-by-case basis.
“In relation to 20mph limits or zones, the factors we consider include the collision history, traffic speed profiles, road topography, aggravating environmental factors, and existing traffic calming features.
“We also look at the appropriateness of the speed limit and in that respect 20mph areas present particular issues if not engineered in the best way.
“Ideally, through those engineering measures, a zone will encourage drivers to travel within the limit. But if there is a clear disregard of those measures, and an obvious and real danger to the public, then enforcement will be a consideration.”
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