50mph Schemes Successful in Driving Down Air Pollution

From 4 October, motorists exceeding the 50mph speed limits on some of the most polluted roads in Wales could receive a letter or fine through their doors, the Welsh Government has warned.

The decision to introduce environmental speed limits to improve air quality levels in five locations across Wales in 2018 was the first of its kind in the UK, demonstrating the Welsh Government’s commitment of putting the environment at the heart of everything it does.

The schemes have already been successful in significantly lowering the levels of nitrogen dioxide in affected areas by up to 47%, helping to protect people from serious illness as well as playing a part in tackling the climate emergency.

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E-scooters: Your Questions Answered by South Wales Police

South Wales Police has published a series of frequently asked questions to clarify the legalities and dispel the myths surrounding e-scooters.

Can e-scooters be ridden on public roads?
No – they can only be ridden on private land, with the landowner’s permission.

What about on the pavement or cycle lanes?
Still no. The law says they cannot be used on public places, including roads, pavements, parks or cycle lanes.

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Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to improve and adopt seven private roads in pilot projects

Pilot projects to deliver highways improvements at seven private roads in Rhondda Cynon Taf have been agreed, including carrying out a Welsh Government pilot for one of the locations. Each road will then be permanently adopted by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council.

At the meeting on Tuesday, September 21, Cabinet Members considered a report proposing a pilot programme of works at seven streets in the County Borough. They include Miner’s Row in Llwydcoed, Brecon Place in Aberaman, Heol Penrhiw in Mountain Ash, Hillside Terrace in Llwynypia, Trafalgar Terrace in Ystrad, Poet’s Close in Rhydyfelin and Belle Vue in Trecynon.

All seven locations are privately-owned roads, and the Council considers that their condition is unsatisfactory, requiring improvements ranging from levelling to paving, along with sewerage, channelling and street lighting works.

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Stand Up For Slowing Down as the 20mph Campaign Kicks Off

Today sees the start of the Wales-wide 20mph Campaign outside Primary Schools coordinated by GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership. The 20mph speed limit outside the majority of Primary Schools in Wales is there to keep children and parents safe as they walk to and from school.

Walking to school is a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative to driving to school, and is an increasingly popular method of travel for parents and their children on their daily journeys to and from school.

Teresa Ciano, GoSafe Partnership Manager said: “Our 20mph Campaign outside Primary Schools across Wales has one key aim; to encourage compliance with the speed limit to keep children and parents safe as they walk to and from school.

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Speed Reduction Initiative

Carmarthenshire County Council is working in partnership with GoSafe, Dyfed Powys Police and schools to combat speeding within the community and outside schools.

During the initiative driver speeds are highlighted using a Speed Indicator Device (SID).  A SID is a portable temporary sign that detects and records the speed of an approaching vehicle, its role is an educational tool and a deterrent measure.

The Roads Policing Unit will stop motorists who exceed the speed limit, and will then offer the choice of a fine plus penalty points or the opportunity to speak to the children at the school and a Road Safety Officer from Carmarthenshire County Council.

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Have Your Say on 20mph Proposals

The consultation on the Welsh Government’s proposal to reduce the speed limit to 20mph on residential streets and roads regularly used for active travel, closes on the 1st October.

Reducing the speed limit could:

  •   reduce the number and severity of road collisions
  •   increase opportunities to walk and cycle in our communities
  •   help improve health and wellbeing for all
  •   make our streets safer and help safeguard the environment for future generations.

Your opinions will guide Welsh Government’s policies prior to roll out. The proposals are also being trialled in 8 communities across Wales.

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National Eye Health Week

National Eye Health Week takes place between 20 and 26 September 2021, promoting the importance of good eye health and the need for regular eye tests for all.

Whatever your age, good eyesight is vital when using the road. Drivers and motorcyclists must be able to read a vehicle registration plate from a distance of 20 metres (or 20.5 metres if the vehicle was registered before September 2001) wearing glasses or contact lenses if required.

If you are finding it difficult to read road signs, particularly those with text, it could indicate that your eyesight has deteriorated and you may require corrective lenses. If you are finding it harder to see clearly in the dark, this may also mean you need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

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Changes to the Highway Code

It’s vital to stay up to date with the Highway Code, whether you’ve only had one lesson or held a licence for years. 

From today there are changes to the rules on using motorways, so it’s as important as ever to “check the Code” – and continue to do so on a regular basis.

The changes made as of today refer to guidance on smart motorways. A total of 33 existing rules will be amended and two new rules introduced, with a number of amendments made to the additional information annexes.

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UK Government Takes Further Action to Tackle HGV Driver Shortage

Up to 50,000 more HGV driving tests will be made available each year in response to government action to streamline the testing process and tackle the worldwide lorry driver shortage.

HGV driving tests will be overhauled, meaning drivers will only need to take 1 test to drive both a rigid and articulated lorry, rather than having to take 2 separate tests (spaced 3 weeks apart). This will make around 20,000 more HGV driving tests available every year.

Tests will also be made shorter by removing the ‘reversing exercise’ element – and for vehicles with trailers, the ‘uncoupling and recoupling’ exercise – and having it tested separately by a third party. This part of the test is carried out off the road on a manoeuvring area and takes a significant amount of time.

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Million Pound Investment To Make Cycling More Accessible

An electric bike pilot scheme that has received more than £1 million of funding from the Welsh Government is already helping local residents to swap their car for a bike in communities across Wales.

The electric bike loan scheme, run by Sustrans, offers a range of battery assisted electric bikes for free on long-term loan for local residents that do not cycle regularly or find the cost of electric bikes a barrier to using them.

The scheme which is being rolled out initially in five locations across Wales, Rhyl, Swansea, Newtown (with links to Aberystwyth) and Barry, will help the Welsh Government gather data to inform recommendations for the long term use of electric bikes and active travel.

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