Old Aberavon in Port Talbot set to become 20mph zone
AN entire Port Talbot community is set to be made a 20mph zone.
Highways chiefs have agreed to start consulting residents and others on the proposal for what's traditionally known as old Aberavon.
They have put in for a share of £300,000 Welsh Government fund to pay for 20mph zones in Community First areas.
These areas were selected on the basis of evidence that child pedestrians from the lowest socio-economic groups are more than four times likely to be killed or injured on roads.
Neath Port Talbot Council's environment and highways cabinet board agreed to the move after being presented with accident figures for the Aberavon areas.
These show a total of 38 accidents, six of which involved child pedestrians — one classed as serious — and four involving child cyclists.
Head of engineering and transport David Griffiths said mandatory 20mph zones had to be self-policing without police involvement.
In Aberavon's case, he said, the road network was largely self-enforcing due to its narrow width, short lengths and cul-de-sacs.
"However, the longer roads, such as Corporation Road and Pendarvis Terrace, will require traffic calming," added Mr Griffiths. "This may result in objections."
The Welsh Government grant is likely to be worth £42,000 assuming Neath Port Talbot succeeds with its bid.
Members of the environment and highways scrutiny committee, who examined the proposals before cabinet approved them, gave the idea their full support.
"There are schools in that area and a lot of children around," said Councillor Eddie Jones.
"Anything that makes it safer for our kids is something I would approve of."
Councillor Marian Lewis added: "A lot of young people use at as a speed track and it is exceptionally dangerous because there are a lot of children there.
"This is a good day for Aberavon."
Mr Griffiths said consultation would have to start this month because of a very short time scale.
They grant had to be spent by March 31, he added.