April 22nd, 2020
Increases in Speeds on Welsh Roads - Partnership Manager's Statement

Wales, like the rest of the UK, is in the midst of the Covid-19 Pandemic and with the vast majority of the public following the Government's social distancing guidance and advice, we have seen a reduction in the volume of traffic on the road network of Wales. However, it's true that we are seeing more vehicles exceeding the speed limit to a higher extent.


Recently we have seen the following high speeds on our roads:

  • 114mph in a 70mph limit on the A55 (Rhuallt Hill)
  • 105mph in a 60mph limit on the A5 (Halton, Wrexham)
  • 104mph in a 70mph limit on the A48 (Pensarn, Carmarthen)


Clearly, this irresponsible and risky driving is putting our key workers at risk along with members of the public who are making essential journeys to assist loved ones, attend work and keep the country going during the international crisis. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we ensure we don't see an increase in collisions or injuries. Any collision now would place an additional burden on the NHS to deal with casualties, the police to investigate and manage the collision as well as causing unnecessary grief to families at a time when many families find themselves seperated for their own health and safety.


GoSafe has a long history of deploying where risk is greatest, and we are working with the four police forces in Wales, and the Welsh Government to establish where the collisions are happening on our road network, and why. The same is true for the speed of traffic on our road network, but during this busy time of emergency planning in public offices, we do not have all the data for Wales to hand at once.


Our teams are ready and willing to be deployed as and when the need arises, and we are able to respond quickly to any intelligence or concerns as and when required on a local basis. This includes supporting front line policing in delivering PPE as well as enforcing. At this time, any GoSafe mobile enforcement will be directed by senior police officers in each police force in response to their operational briefings, as opposed to being directed by GoSafe.


We are continuing to receive and process reports of traffic offences through Operation SNAP.


Our fixed camera fleet has remained active throughout the pandemic and we are able to receive offences directly into our back office for processing, meaning that we can continue to enforce in areas of highest road safety risk whilst complying with social distancing.


Offence numbers have never, and will never, be a performance measure for us. The most effective enforcement delivers compliance with the speed limit, and therefore the most effective sites are those with the fewest offences. 


Whilst we are seeing a reduction of over 50% in the volume of traffic on our roads, they do not provide an indicator of the driver behaviour. We usually see the vast majority of drivers and riders complying with the speed limit - it is only ever a small minority who do not see the risk they are putting themselves, and others in.


We continue to work with all partners in road safety - from fire and rescue services, highway authorities, National Police Chiefs Council and roads safety charities such as PACTS and Brake and other casualty reduction partnerships across the UK to ensure that we are all using our collective effort to spread the same message. We are monitoring publications from Highways England and TRL to make sure we understand what is happening on our roads and will continue to deploy our resources to the right place, at the right time, for the right reason.


The world may have changed, but the speed limit and traffic laws remain the same!


Teresa Ciano

Partnership Manager


Wednesday, 22 April 2020