North Wales’ A542 Horseshoe pass gets 40mph limit change!

The firm biker favourite meeting location, with a decent cafe, huge slabs of cake, and of course a naturally great ride up there has now had a 40mph speed limit change approved. Local councillors are said to be “Delighted” at the move after approval from Denbighshire County Council.

Horseshoe pass - Ponderosa cafe
Horseshoe pass – Ponderosa cafe


The famously twisty yet spectacular views from the A542 link Llangollen to Pen-Y-Stryt through the horseshoe-shaped pass. It does almost feel like the Ponderosa cafe has scored its own goal here, the new 40mph limit will obviously deter some bikers, in favour of other roads with higher speed limits.

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While not just being a biker hangout, the Horseshoe pass is also a firm favourite with car drivers of all types. Aswell as the new 40mph speed limit Councillord are pressuring North Wales police to start enforcing the limit more, again, I feel like this will drive more bikers away.

“County councillor Melvyn Mile and I were delighted to receive notification that the proposal for a 40mph speed limit on the Horseshoe Pass has now been approved. We discussed the speed limit with road safety officers, along with Cllr Martyn Holland of Llandegla Ward, back in 2017. Our support for the speed limit has been unanimous. The process for introducing a new speed limit is rigorous and has to be supported by evidence.”

Graham Timms – Quote from Denbighshire Free Press

Despite providing little evidence and citing the only reason to reduce the speed limit as “to improve road safety”. Indeed back in 2014 Llangollen Councillor Stuart Davies stated that 40mph limit was unnecessary on the road, with the only reason for the limit to satisfy locals who saw bikers as a nuisance.

Little enforcement despite the low limit

“I put in a Freedom of Information request to North Wales Police in 2014 and it revealed that since 2009 they had only brought only one prosecution for speeding on the Horseshoe Pass and that was in the financial year 2013-14. If they weren’t prosecuting people for breaking the 60mph limit up there why did they want to lower it to 40mph?There was a noise issue from motorcycles and people were saying speeding was going on, they said that they were speeding and causing the noise and that putting in speed limits would address this. I asked our officers to put in a speed check for a week which they did. In actual fact speeding wasn’t going on with the average speed being 48 mph if I recall correctly.”

Stuart Davies – MCN

It does seem to be the norm for road safety these days, that lowering speed limits is safer than actually educating road users how to use the roads properly. In the future will we see 10mph speed limits, before people realise it doesn’t actually work? I’d love to know if the 40mph limit puts you off visiting, let me know below!

1 thought on “North Wales’ A542 Horseshoe pass gets 40mph limit change!”

  1. I live on a part of the round route up the A5 through Llangollen and back through Llandegla, this is a quick evening ride out, I will now find another route without the restriction of having to watch the speedo all the time and not concentrating on the bends and twists which is the reason for going there in the first place, also have to find a different cafe now.

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