Successful Operation targeting anti-social driving across Newport and Monmouthshire

The Gwent Police roads policing and specialist operations unit has teamed up with neighbourhood policing teams to address anti-social driving around Newport and Monmouthshire.

Operation Drift ran on Sunday 23rd October with the aim to tackle anti-social driving in Monmouthshire South and Newport East.

The team conducted speed enforcement checks in Undy, Rogiet, Caldicot, Wye Valley link road, Chepstow, M48, M4 and the A4810 between Spytty and Magor.

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Looking out for vulnerable road users as the clocks change

With the clocks being turned back one hour this weekend, Sunday 30th October, and daylight hours growing shorter, Road Safety Wales is reminding road users to take extra care and remain vigilant when out and about in the dark.

The arrival of autumn often brings worsening weather and reduced visibility, increasing the risk of collisions, particularly involving vulnerable road users such as children, older people, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales, called for extra vigilance as darker evenings begin; “Darkness creates more challenging conditions for road users. Motorists should drive considerately and reduce their speed to meet the traffic and weather conditions.

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Enhanced Rider Scheme success in Wales

In a recent blog, Jody Whitfield, Rider Policy Specialist at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, highlighted the success of the Enhanced Rider Scheme in Wales.

The DVSA reports, “Roughly a third of riders who have completed the ERS course across Britain since its relaunch in 2018 have either taken it in Wales or come from Wales

"This is a huge win for road safety in Wales.”

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Schools launch Active Travel Plans

Two primary schools in Cwmbran have become the first in Torfaen to launch new Active Travel School Plans.

Blenheim Road Community and Coed Eva Primary Schools unveiled their plans this month, as part of International Walk to School month.

The plans include a commitment to increasing the number of children and staff who regularly walk, scoot or cycle to school, through lessons and school assemblies about the benefits of active travel, as well as events to celebrate Walk to School Month.

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Proposed pedestrian and cycle path from Abergwili to Ffairfach

Carmarthenshire County Council has published its exciting proposals, within the Tywi Valley Path scheme, to create a shared use path for pedestrians and cyclists between Abergwili and Ffairfach, Llandeilo. The proposed path would connect communities via a safe, mainly off-road route and could be used for leisure purposes, commuting to and from work and accessing local services.

The Council has published a Planning Pre Application Consultation (PAC) to gather people’s opinions on the proposed development of the Eastern Phase of the Tywi Valley Path, which will look to develop a new combined Pedestrian and Cycle Path between Ffairfach and Nantgaredig, along with associated engineering and landscaping works.

The consultation will run until 31st October and is available online with hard copies available at Llandeilo Library and Abergwili Museum.

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Check your tyres are winter ready

North Wales Police are urging drivers to ensure their tyres are fit for purpose as the winter months approach.

October is National Tyre Safety Month – organised by charity TyreSafe, the annual campaign encourages road users to regularly check their tyres on a regular basis.

Sergeant Leigh Evans of the Roads Policing Unit said: “Making sure your tyres meet the required standards isn’t just a legal requirement, it’s also key to ensuring your safety on the road. So with the winter months only around the corner it is essential that people are safe when out and about on the roads.

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“We now feel safer to walk to school” Caldicot school pupils tell Deputy Minister

Children at Durand Primary School, in Caldicot, were excited to tell the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters, how the new 20mph speed limit in their town has given them more freedom to walk, cycle or scoot to school, when he visited their school earlier today.

Caldicot, in Monmouthshire, was one of the communities chosen to take part in phase one of the programme to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets from 30mph to 20mph. The rest of Wales will follow in its footsteps from September 2023 after the new legislation – a UK first - was given the green light in Senedd earlier this summer.

Since the new 20mph speed limit has been in place, the charity Living Streets has been working closely with the school to better understand people’s travel behaviours and attitudes. Part of this work involved access to the Welsh Government funded WOW tracker scheme - which encourages families and children to reduce car journeys and increase walking rates. In just six months the school has already seen a significant increase in the number of pupils travelling to school sustainably - from 48% to 69% - with pupils and parents explaining that thanks to the reduced speed limit they now ‘feel safer to walk to school’, ‘find it easier to cross the road’ and the overall experience is ‘more pleasant, calmer and quieter’.

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School Sign Competition for 20mph

In September 2023 the speed limit on roads where people live, or regularly walk and cycle will change. A new default speed limit of 20mph (instead of 30mph now) will come in. The new speed limit will help reduce collisions on our roads, make our streets nicer places to be and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

Wales is the first nation in the UK to make the change to 20mph and you can be part of it. We are asking you to use your artistic skills to design a sign which could be seen all across Wales! This new sign, to be used outside schools, needs to remind drivers of the importance of driving within the 20mph speed limit, helping reduce the danger to children and families using the road.

Prizes to be won…

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Gwent Police: Operation Utah

Over 40 vehicles were stopped in Newport this week in a crackdown on motoring offences.

Operation Utah aims to identify vehicles that are being driven illegally or aren’t road safe.

The road safety operation took place on Monday 10th October, and included officers from Gwent Police's roads policing unit, the dog section, rural crime team, response officers and the special constabulary. Officers were also joined by partners from the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA).

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Plans in place for potential weather impact on Menai crossing

 Plans are in place to deal with the potential impact of winter storms on HGVs travelling to and from Anglesey while there are weight restrictions on the Menai Suspension bridge.

In severe storms, when the wind exceeds a certain speed, the Britannia Bridge is closed to high-sided vehicles. Vehicles are normally diverted to the Menai Suspension Bridge; however, this will not be possible while weight restrictions are in place.

The closure of the Britannia Bridge to high-sided vehicles only happens in exceptional circumstances. In the last five years, the bridge has been closed to high-sided vehicles on average seven times a year.

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