Speaking at an Active Travel conference in Cardiff recently, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, Lee Waters announced that the Welsh Government would be putting together an expert group to explore ways of clamping down more widely on illegal parking, as well as pavement parking across Wales.
The Deputy Minister also repeated the Welsh Government’s commitment to change the default speed limit for residential areas across Wales from 30 to 20mph.
He said, “Our goal is for people of all ages and abilities to be confident that they can make every day journeys by walking and cycling, and do so safely. But there are barriers in our villages, towns and cities to allow this to easily happen and this is something we must look at ways of addressing – not least as part of our wider response to the climate emergency, the air quality crisis and the obesity epidemic.
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South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service and GoSafe launched Operation Close Pass at the 2018 Velothon Wales event. The Close Pass initiative aims to improve the safety of cyclists on the road by educating drivers in overtaking safely.
The Highway Code recommends that road users should give vulnerable road users, such as motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders, the same amount of room as they would when overtaking a car – this is typically 1.5 metres.
Operation Close Pass deploys police officers on bicycles fitted with cameras to record the behaviour of drivers who overtake them. If an offence is detected, the officer contacts colleagues further down the road to direct the vehicle into a checkpoint where the driver will be offered roadside education from fire service colleagues using specially designed equipment to illustrates the safe passing distance.
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