50mph air quality zones on major routes in Wales

The temporary 50mph speed limits on Welsh stretches of the M4 and other major trunk roads are to be made permanent in a bid to improve air quality.

The M4 at Port Talbot is one stretch, while lengths of the A470 in Pontypridd, A483 in Wrexham and A494 in Deeside are also to be restricted.

A spokesperson for the Welsh Government said that the move is to tackle nitrogen dioxide levels in the areas affected. “It was established that a 50mph speed threshold alone was the measure that would achieve compliance in the shortest time possible,” he said.

“The current speed limit in place will be retained through permanent traffic regulation orders and remain in force to maintain air quality standards.”

The Environment Minister Lesley Griffiths announced the move at plenary, and suggested putting up signs that read ‘poor air quality kills, reduce your speed’. She said: “I have been working with the Minister for Economy and Transport [Ken Skates] on actions to address nitrogen dioxide exceedance in five sites across our strategic motorway and trunk road network.

“I am pleased to announce that 50mph speed limits will be in place on a permanent basis across all five sites by the middle of July.

“We will be enhancing communications around the reason for the speed restrictions and providing new permanent traffic sign layouts at all sites, so that the public is aware of the importance of these measures.”


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