Wales to roll back 20mph speed limit on some roads after backlash

UK

Some roads in Wales are set to go back to 30mph after nearly half a million people called for an end to the national 20mph speed limit.

Ken Skates, the Welsh government’s new transport minister, said “there will be a change” to legislation introduced in September which changed the speed limit on nearly all roads from 30mph to 20mph.

Introduced under former first minister Mark Drakeford, the Welsh government said the reduced speed limit would save lives and help build “safer communities” by reducing the number of collisions.

A petition calling for the removal of the 20mph limit reached 469,571 signatures by 13 March – hundreds of thousands more than the 10,000 required for a petition to be considered for a debate.

Speaking to North Wales Live, the Labour MP said there is “generally universal support” for the speed limit being in place outside of schools, housing estates and hospitals, but acknowledged that many have said “routes that shouldn’t have been included were”.

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“We’ve put our hands up to say, ‘the guidance has to be corrected’,” he added.

“This will enable councils to revert back those routes that are not appropriate. Whether the change will be radical will largely depend on what people want.”

Image:
Transport minister Ken Skates said ‘we’ve put our hands up to say, ‘the guidance has to be corrected”. Pic: Tomos Evans

He added he will share more details in the Senedd on Tuesday, saying “we are working to do this as swiftly as we possibly can,” and acknowledged adjusting the speed limits will be costly but not “anywhere near the cost of the rollout”.

Mr Skates then said: “It is about making sure the application is consistent and we bring back a good degree of unity, whereas currently there is discord.”

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It comes after a road sign showing a 20mph limit was among seven “removed illegally” in a Welsh village, which has led to “serious road safety concerns”.

Lee Waters, the minister behind the rollout, also said he would be stepping down and would delete his profile on social media platform X due to abuse in March.

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