Two villages in Herefordshire are extending their speed limits to improve road safety. A 40mph zone west of Newtown Cross on the main A4103 between Hereford and Worcester is growing westwards. Similarly, the 30mph section on Kings Road leaving Orleton will extend northwards. The moves follow consultations and are backed by both public sentiment and official data.

The extension at Newtown Cross came after a consultation two years ago, where neither the police, the parish council, the ward councillor, nor the public raised objections. The parish council itself proposed this change due to “very high” speeds of approaching vehicles and issues with sign visibility. Between 2016 and the start of the consultation, four accidents had occurred on the road. The council highlighted residents’ concerns about both vehicular access to properties and pedestrian safety. To ensure adherence to the new 40mph limit, “high profile yellow backed signage, repeater signage and road roundels” will be installed. The total cost, including consultation, is estimated to be around £11,500.

In Orleton, a similar consultation took place last summer in light of a new residential development west of Kings Road. No objections were raised against extending the 30mph zone northwards past the village primary school. The cost of approximately £15,000 is being covered by the new estate’s developer as part of an agreement with the council.

These decisions were made in late July and have now been published on the Herefordshire Council website. Last year, the council allocated £1.2 million for 20mph zones across Hereford and nearby towns. Councillor Harrington has discussed transport reforms that focus on making roads more pedestrian-friendly. A potential £46 million bid for various projects, including new bus lanes and upgraded cycling paths, is also under consideration.

Welsh journalist Tom Harwood has spoken loudly in favour of the 20mph roll-out in Wales, citing evidence from Hull and London that highlights the benefits for air quality and promoting active lifestyles. Despite some negative feedback, the trend towards embracing 20mph limits in residential areas across English and Welsh communities suggests that wider acceptance in Herefordshire might soon follow.

There was an organised protest of the 20mph over the weekend in parts of Wales, it has been reported that turnout was substantially lower than expected. Opposition to the change is vocal with over 400,000 people signing a petition objecting to it. Opinion polls vary wildly, with some against, in favour, and some around 50-50.