More than 56,000 tests conducted in national Christmas drink and drug drive operation

Policing’s national operation to tackle drink and drug driving has seen consistently high results for the second year running, with more than 6,600 motorists arrested for offences.

Many police forces undertake a proactive operation around Christmas each year to increase breath testing and targeted vehicle stops for drivers suspected of being under the influence. Christmas 2022 saw the first national operation, called Op Limit, to coordinate this activity across the country – bringing together all police forces in a concerted effort to remove drink and drug drivers from our roads.

2023 saw all police forces take part in the operation, engaging in education and awareness events, communications around the risks of driving under the influence, targeted vehicle stops in hot spot areas and intelligence led patrols.

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Written Statement: 20mph Early Speed Data

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change

In September 2023, we introduced a 20mph default speed limit in built-up areas of Wales.

The aim was clear: reduce the speed of vehicles and reduce deaths and severe injuries on our roads. Lower speeds will, in turn, create safer, better communities to live, work and lead our lives.

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Denbighshire County Council begins active travel improvements

Denbighshire County Council has started works to introduce a series of active travel enhancements in Lower Denbigh.

The works, which are grant funded from the Welsh Government Active Travel Fund specifically for the improvement of active travel, aims to reduce the number of short everyday journeys that are undertaken in motor vehicles and increase levels of active travel in Denbighshire.

These enhancements will create safer walking and cycling routes to key local amenities and enable people to make healthier, greener, and cheaper travel choices.

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Work begins on Holywell safer route

Flintshire County Council’s Streetscene and Transportation team is pleased to confirm that £487k funding has been secured to carry out a new safer route in the town.

Thanks to funding from Welsh Government, the footpath along the A5026 Holway Road and Whitford Street will be widened, making it safer and more accessible for pupils, parents and the wider community.

It follows a 4-week public consultation in September 2023 where residents were invited to attend a drop-in information event and encouraged to have their say on which routes they’d like to see improved.

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Written Statement: Roads Review: One Year On

Lee Waters MS, Deputy Minister for Climate Change

A year ago, we published the independent report of the Roads Review and our response to it - a new approach that has generated interest from around the world.

Our roads policy statement made clear we would continue investing in roads that:

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Local scheme in Church Village to improve walking routes to school

A series of improvements will be delivered in the weeks ahead as part of the Church Village Safe Routes in Communities scheme – focusing on upgrading pedestrian facilities on streets near Llanilltud Faerdref Primary School.

From today, Monday, 29 January, work will begin to establish a safer environment for pedestrians that encourages people to walk more of their local journeys – including families travelling to and from their local primary school. The Council has appointed ERH Communications Ltd as the contractor to deliver the work from Monday. The scheme will last around nine weeks in total, and includes:

  • Improving sections of footway, while installing and upgrading informal crossing points using tactile paving where it is necessary.
  • Delivering kerb line improvements at the southern junction between St. Illtyds Road and Cae Fardre, which will shorten the crossing distance.
  • Cutting back vegetation at a number of locations where it has become overgrown and is an obstruction to Public Right of Way footpaths.
  • Constructing a new footway on the southern side of Cae Fardre, between Birch Grove and the playing field access, to formalise a link to the playing fields.
  • Removing 40-metres of the layby located to the east of the junction with Station Road, to create a continuous footway at this location.
  • Improving the existing footway that stretches along the entrance to Ty Illtyd Car Park and around the junction to St Illtyds Road.

Welsh Government announced that the Council has secured £340,000 funding for these works in Church Village during June 2023, as part of its 2023/24 Safe Routes in Communities scheme. This represents an 80% contribution, and the remainder will be provided by Council match funding.

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Almost 30 vehicles stopped in latest crackdown on motoring offences

Operation Utah took place on Monday 22 January to identify and tackle road users putting other motorists at risk.

Gwent Police officers checked almost 30 vehicles and issued 12 traffic offence reports as part of the latest operation to crack down on motoring offences.

Operation Utah – a multi-agency day of action – is designed to identify and tackle road users putting other motorists at risk – either by driving illegally or by driving vehicles not up to a safe standard.

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Views sought on new walking and cycling route into Swansea

A new safe walking and cycling route could be created along a main route into Swansea city centre.

Swansea Council previously received funding from the Welsh Government's Active Travel programme to help design a walking and cycling route, linking Sketty and Uplands to the city centre.

The Council has now come up with a design option which would see pavements and pedestrian crossings upgraded along Walter Road and Sketty Road as well as in Uplands.

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Independent analysis of vehicle speeds 3 months after the implementation of 20mph speed limits in Wales

A leading consultancy in transport safety and behaviour, Agilysis, has published an update to their independent report on the impact of 20mph speed limits in Wales.

This latest report focuses on ten towns and cities in the three-month period post-change, covering the same roads as the initial study. Agilysis examined over 7,900 road sections, to reveal their findings, including:

  • analysis shows a slight bounce back in speeds compared to the one-week post-change period, however overall average speeds are down by 2.4mph compared to pre-change levels
  • there are slight variations across the roads in the analysis, with Bangor experiencing the most significant reduction in average speeds (-3.2mph) and Merthyr Tydfil displaying the smallest change (-1.3mph)
  • over half (52.9%) of all analysed journeys were driven above the 20mph speed limit, with 9% of all analysed journeys driven above the enforcement threshold of 26mph, and 5.4% of journeys driven at speeds above the threshold for a court summons.

Agilysis adds, “The speed enforcement measures which have just begun in January 2024 are seen as a crucial step towards achieving greater compliance across the road network.

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Essential road works to take place on A55

Motorists are advised to plan ahead before they travel as major road works and lane closures are set to begin on the A55 between junction 36 at the Warren Interchange and the Wales-England border at the end of January and continue until the end March.

The works to repair the underlying concrete bays and resurfacing of the road will begin on the eastbound side of the carriageway followed by westbound. In preparation for the main works, junction 36A Broughton Retail Park slip roads will be repaired and resurfaced. Works will begin on 26 January and end on the 25 March.

The new road surface will ensure safer, quieter journeys for motorists and will mean less unplanned closures for emergency repairs on this section of the A55.

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