A PETITION calling on the Welsh Government not to impose a blanket 20mph speed limit for good in Flintshire has collected over 3,000 signatures.

The county was one of eight areas across Wales selected for a government trial which reduced speed limits from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads.

As a result, as of Monday February 28 all unclassified roads (30mph) within Buckley, Mynydd Isa, Bryn-y-Baal and New Brighton became 20mph zones.

Read more: Buckley: Leader readers slam new 20mph limit move

The Welsh Government said reducing speeds improves road safety and lowers the chances of accidents occurring - with this pilot scheme aimed at supporting the development of a national roll out of 20mph speed limits across Wales.

But the move has caused anger amongst residents in these areas, who claim it is having the opposite effect and has in fact sparked more reckless driving, and road rage. 

Residents also felt that they were not properly consulted on the change and, as such, a petition has now been set up by resident Adie Drury. 

She believes the trial has 'proved to cause more harm than good' on the main arterial roads and access roads in Buckley.

On the petition page, she adds: "The Welsh Government has plans to change every 30mph road in Wales to 20mph and we here in Buckley are one of eight unlucky towns whose councils decided to sell them down the river and bid to be the "pilot towns".

"It is causing chaos, people avoiding the area and people having to take new routes.

"Many of these roads aren't suitable for a 20mph speed limit. They are busy access roads on steep hills. The lorries are struggling to get up the hills in such a low gear and sticking to such a low speed downhill is hard on the brakes. This is doing nothing to reduce emissions, instead there will be more pollution from more cars struggling in a lower gear for a longer time. 

"There have not been high occurrence rates of road traffic accidents, deaths or injuries on roads in and around Buckley that require a change to our regular 30mph limit on these roads.

Read more: Buckley Town Council 'ignored' over 20mph scheme

"It’s entirely unjustified and was not supported by the community making it a non-democratic change. The community already support the 20mph zones outside schools and other significant areas and would fully support keeping these in place.

"The signage is also not clear and given this is a brand new change, we would expect forbearance for a period of 6-12 months for residents to get used to a whole new way of driving. Especially as we live on the border of England where more sensible road speed limits currently apply meaning residents may be even more confused.

"A poll was conducted in the Facebook group over the first 3 days after the scheme went live. The results were 70% of respondents were in favour of returning the 30mph speed limit to the main access roads in and out of Buckley and the surrounding areas, such as Mold Road, Liverpool Road, Church Road and Bannel Lane and keeping the 20mph limit only outside schools and in heavily built up residential estates such as St. Matthew’s Park.

"10% of people want the 20mph to stay outside schools only and almost 20% of people wanted to scrap the scheme entirely. Just two people, in a town of 21,000, were in favour of the scheme as it stands.

"Calling it a "pilot scheme" is truly insulting when the government has said "20mph is a legislative change across the nation" coming into force 2023. A Pilot is done as an experiment or test, evaluating the results before making plans to implement more widely."

The petition by Adie, called 'Stop the Welsh Govt imposing blanket 20mph speed limits across the whole of Wales by 2023' has so far gathered 3,450 signatures.

The Leader:

PIC: What do you think of the 20mph speed limit trialled in Buckley area? Let us know in comments below.

Flintshire council confirmed it has asked the Welsh government to review the 20mph speed limit on main arterial roads in Buckley as a matter of a “high priority.”

Council leader, Cllr Ian Roberts, said: “Whilst we support Welsh Government’s rollout of a 20mph speed limited in residential areas and busy pedestrian streets, we have listened to concerns from local residents since the implementation of a 20mph speed limit in Buckley on 28 February and have asked Welsh Government to consider reviewing the exceptions criteria that led to the introduction of a 20mph speed limit on the main arterial roads.

READ MORE: Welsh Government Minister apologises to Buckley residents over 'not good enough' 20mph pilot

“Given the extent of the feedback received from the local community, we are pleased that the Deputy Minister has acknowledged this feedback and said that whilst 20mph is currently the default, Welsh Government will look at the speed limit on main arterial roads by reviewing the exceptions criteria prior to the scheme being rolled out further across Wales in 2023.”

“We appreciate that the matter is attracting increasing attention within the local community and have requested that the matter be dealt with as a high priority.”