ST Dogmaels has been chosen as one of eight pilot schemes across Wales to trial a 20mph speed limit through the village.

The trial - part of Welsh Government plans to reduce the national speed limit on restricted roads of 30mph to 20mph by April 2023 - has been welcomed by many in the village.

A '20 is Plenty' campaign was launched last year backed by the community council and now Welsh Government and Pembrokeshire County Council are set to introduce the limit within the next couple of months, a move which puts St Dogmaels well ahead of the game.

Community council chairman Phil Hutchings said: "This is great news for the village.

"We asked Pembrokeshire County Council to conduct road traffic surveys across the village a couple of years ago and they collected a lot of data and stats which provided a good start and put us at the front of the queue."

Villager Cara Wilson said: "We are a family living on the Llandudoch high street and strongly support the extension the 20mph limit across the whole village.

"We have always walked and cycled as much as we can on local journeys to Aberteifi and Poppit. Of course we are also frequent car drivers as it's a rural county, so we understand the experiences on all sides.

"However trying to raise the children safely to a habit of cycling has been very fraught and often with risk due to the carelessness and disinterest of many drivers and the speed they go.

"Every time we cycle on the road we have near misses, impatient drivers travelling too fast, overtaking too tight and pulling in too soon.

"The first month we moved in my husband was knocked off and concussed, his bike damaged. He now has a camera on the bike for safety and has a library of reportable incidents on the village roads.

"We are too worried to let our 12-year-old cycle alone the short distance to Cardigan facilities or the beach, he has to walk, but it shouldn't have to be this way.

"Lockdown showed all of us in the village how safe it could be, and so many more of us cycled and walked with the roads being safer. I hear from people now that they have stopped again now the roads are so busy. We’re delighted that Pembrokeshire County Council has committed to make this early move to bring in 20mph for Llandudoch."

Villagers at St Dogmaels are celebrating the success of thei r20 is Plenty campaign

Villagers at St Dogmaels are celebrating the success of thei r'20 is Plenty' campaign

Tamsin Young added: "As a pedestrian, a cyclist, and a car user I find being on the roads these days pretty hazardous..especially when on foot or my bike. I cycle a lot to Cardigan town and a lot to Poppit Sands.

"During lockdown it was bliss out there - quiet roads, drivers seemingly taking care of our new normal, families walking and cycling to the beach etc. Obviously, the quietness of the roads back then (March to May '20) cannot remain such at all times.

"However to allow locals and tourists alike safe roads to walk on is vital. For a long time I have believed something must be done to reduce the current speed limit before someone is seriously injured, if not killed.

"This is such good news."

Helen Watling said: "We have lived in St Dogmaels for 10 years and walk round our village or along to Poppit twice a day to exercise our dogs.

"The village has for many years been concerned that the amount of vehicles and speed at which they drive will one day result in a serious accident. As we are becoming aware, St Dogmaels and the beautiful countryside and beach nearby are only going to become more popular as people consider the environmental impact of going abroad and may wish to holiday closer to home.

"The very welcome reduction in the speed limit will encourage more local people (and hopefully more visitors) to walk or cycle, this in turn would lead to a reduction in vehicle emissions, would improve air and noise quality through the village and would lead to a healthier, happier population.

"We, and our dogs, were amazed last summer at how pleasant it was to walk about without so much fast traffic and without having to dodge into the hedgerows or kerbside to avoid it. We hope the gentler 20mph speed will help all villagers to hang on to a bit more of that peace and quiet."

20 is Plenty at St Dogmaels

'20 is Plenty' at St Dogmaels

Residents Andy Triggs said: “We’re a family with three young boys under 10 who love to walk, cycle, or scoot round the village to call on friends or go to the village school or shop.

“When we were kids we had so much more freedom and safety – why can’t we ensure the same for our children too? We’ve been asking for safer speeds for ages, so the village-wide 20mph should give our boys more freedom and independence as they grow.

"Are people driving really so much more important that children walking? We cycle and drive too and these lower speeds should give us all more time to spot hazards, react and avoid harming someone else’s child.

"Are those couple of extra minutes it takes to pass more slowly through our village worth rushing on through and scaring our kids off the roads or risk making them into nervous cyclists? Let’s share our streets together."

Anna Blackwood supports the 20 is Plenty campaign at St Dogmaels

Anna Blackwood supports the '20 is Plenty' campaign at St Dogmaels

Anna Blackwood: “This is great news. We have a three-year-old and a one-year-old and live in Maeshyfryd at the heart of the village.

“As a family of four we enjoy the outdoor lifestyle and together we regularly walk through the village or down to the Moorings and on to Poppit. At the moment we don’t find it very family or pushchair friendly. There are several dodgy areas with very narrow streets and missing pavements.

"These can feel scary for our three-year-old and with our little daughter in her pushchair. It can feel unsafe for us with wide vans, lorries and cars passing very close to us - often at 30mph or more”.

“We’d like our kids to grow up with the independence to walk round to see their friends in the village. We welcome the shift to all sharing the streets as a slower speed.”

County council view

Cllr Phil Baker, Pembrokeshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for infrastructure, said the pilot project was a unique opportunity for St Dogmaels to represent small rural communities, of which Pembrokeshire has many.

“This is an amazing opportunity to trial some of the consultation and monitoring methods and provide feedback to Welsh Government on their effectiveness,” he said.

“Reducing speeds leads to fewer accidents and saves lives.

“It also creates greater space for safer active travel within communities, which not only boosts people’s quality of life but also has a positive effect on the environment.”

St Dogmaels county councillor Mike James said; “As a village, St. Dogmaels is delighted to be involved with the Welsh Government pilot to reduce the national speed limit on restricted roads of 30mph to 20mph by 2023.

“20 is plenty is our aim and I thank all the volunteers in the village who have been working so hard to gather information.

“I thank Pembrokeshire County Council officers for attending meetings, walking the village and then putting a bid together to Welsh Government. I hope that working together with Welsh Government will help many other rural villages across Wales to be safer after 2023.”

Welsh Government view

The pilot areas will have a phased start from this summer until the end of the year.

The areas chosen are intended to be representative sample of different locations found across Wales, including villages, towns and cities. They will focus on community engagement, meaning that as well as developing enforcement arrangements they will communicate the value of the new speed limit, making the case for reduced speed.

Lee Waters, deputy minister for economy and transport, said: “Making 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas is a bold step that will save lives.

“We have made progress on reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads over the 21 years of devolution, but despite our considerable efforts the highest proportion of all casualties - 50 per cent - occurred on 30mph roads during 2018. This cannot be tolerated, so a reduction to 20mph on our residential and other busy pedestrian urban roads has to be the way forward.

“Decreasing speeds reduces accidents and saves lives, and alongside this the quality of life will improve, making room on our streets for safer active travel. This helps reduce our environmental impact and has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing.”

The other pilot schemes are at Abergavenny, Central North Cardiff, Severnside in Monmouthshire, Buckley in Flintshire, Cilfriw in Neath Port Talbot, St Brides Major in Vale of Glamorgan and Llanelli North.