Posted: Mon 4th Sep 2023

North Wales politician calls for “immediate halt” of looming 20mph speed limit

Wrexham.com for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Monday, Sep 4th, 2023

A North Wales member of the Senedd has called on the Welsh Government to immediately call a halt to controversial plans to introduce the 20mph default speed limit.

The blanket limit, which will be introduced across Wales in on September 17d, will see the majority of 30mph roads changed to a 20. ‌

Locally just 5km of current 30mph roads could remain exempt from the new speed limit. Wrexham Council is currently running a consultation on the potential exemptions. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Sam Rowlands, Welsh Conservative Member of the Senedd for North Wales, is calling on the Welsh Government to immediately call a halt” to the controversial plans​.‌

It comes after concerns were raised​ ‌were raised about the reduction in speed limit by a retained firefighter and an Assistant Chief Constable‌.

Last week Wrexham.com reported that Welsh Conservatives Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS had ​​s‌poken to one retained firefighter who raised several concerns. These included:

  • The 20mph default speed limit will delay firefighters getting to stations in their own vehicles.
  • Fire incidents will take longer to get to.
  • Labour has extended the distance of retained firefighters from 5 minutes travel to 10 minutes, with the new speed limit impacting journeys.

Mr Rowlands, Shadow Minister for Local Government and a harsh critic of the speed limit change, said despite the looming change there is “still time to kick the whole idea into touch.”

Mr Rowlands said: “I just cannot believe Welsh Government are still refusing to listen to concerns about this ludicrous and bonkers idea.

“I am sure many people will agree 20mph speed limits outside schools, hospital and other roads where there is clear evidence that lower speed limits are backed by the local community but not as a blanket approach and on arterial roads.

“I am still receiving emails from my constituents in North Wales as Buckley, in my region, was one of the towns which hosted a pilot for the new 20mph default speed limit.

“Local residents continue to write to me to say they have seen – more pollution with cars driving for longer in a lower gear; more accidents as cars and bicycles are more likely to share the same road space for longer and more delays as traffic becomes congested and everyone drives slower.

“Only last week I criticised the Welsh Labour Government for failing to plan for this ridiculous roll out as it was revealed that some roads which are to remain at 30mph will show signs for 20mph while Flintshire County Council kick the can down the road on deciding exemptions.

“Everyone gets that the new speed limit is a bonkers idea except for Mark Drakeford and Lee Waters in their ivory towers in Cardiff-Bay.

“There is still time to kick the whole idea into touch and call a halt to this ludicrous and bonkers idea.”

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