Posted: Tue 23rd Apr 2024

“Lots of Wrexham routes make perfect sense for review” – Ken Skates on 20 MPH for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area

Ken Skates has said he is keen to ‘take the heat out some of the contentious issues that we face at the moment’, including it seems, the recent 20MPH law roll out.

There has been indications from Welsh Government that a change in how the new 20 MPH will be applied is imminent, however the law itself appears unlikely to be altered.

The 20 MPH issue has been contentious, with Wrexham seeing just 10 roads made exempt from the 20mph limit. This is in contrast to more than 150 in Swansea and 85 in Gwynedd.

Clwyd South MS Ken Skates has now taken on the role of Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, and we asked him if the previous messaging from Welsh Government that councils such as Wrexham Council were effectively to blame for not making more exemptions in line with the guidance and queried where the actual problem was.

Ken Skates MS said, “I think the problem lies in the guidance and in terms of applying the guidance, that was inconsistent across Wales.

“But, equally I totally appreciate that a lot of councils were concerned about liability when it comes when it came to making early exemptions. We’re steadily getting lists of routes for submission for review.

“Alot of the routes that I’ve seen in Wrexham make perfect sense for review, and for potentially reverting back to 30 miles an hour.

“I really want to reach a point where there’s consensus on this issue as well. That’s why we’re embarking on this program of listening. Local authorities, I’ve spoken with every single one now across Wales, and they’re determined to do that with us.

We’re determined to implement change with citizens, not to citizens. I think actually the vast majority of people including nearly half million people who signed the petition would agree that 20 miles an hour outside schools, in built up areas, housing estates, by hospitals and so forth makes sense – but there have been mistakes in other areas.

“We need to target 20 miles an hour to ensure that it’s getting the best possible results in terms of safety, whilst also ensuring that people support it, because the support for the policies one of the key determining factors of whether it’s actually going to work and motorists are actually going to reduce speed.”

Any changes will be yet another bountiful time for some – not all – print publications in Wales, with several hundred thousand pounds of public money spent to ‘inform’ the public via statutory notices in the back of newspapers which are seeing ongoing drops in circulations. This sum does not include the £800k+ paid promotion campaign advertising on Facebook / TV / etc by Welsh Government for the 20MPH rollout.

The overall cost for the introduction of the 20MPH speed limit has been put at £32,000,000.

Responding to reports that some 20mph speed limits will revert to 30mph in Wales, Andrew Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Labour’s 20mph speed limits are sadly here to stay.

“Any change to the guidance will be cosmetic, and cosmetic changes will not fool the Welsh public.

“Smoke and mirrors around guidance will not do. This policy needs to be scrapped in its entirety.”

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