Posted: Fri 27th Oct 2023

Questions over lack of Wrexham roads exempt from 20mph speed limit for people living in or visiting the Wrexham area
This article is old - Published: Friday, Oct 27th, 2023

A North Wales Member of the Senedd has questioned the lack of 20mph exemptions in place across Wrexham County Borough.

Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd, who represents the region in the Senedd, said that the local authority and the Welsh Government need to work together as the policy beds in to make sure its implementation is “pragmatic and proportionate”.

Just 10 roads across Wrexham have been exempted from the 20mph speed limit and remain at 30mph.

This is compared to more than 150 in Swansea and 85 in Gwynedd.

Mr Gruffydd argued that Local Authorities need to be empowered to make further exemptions in areas that make sense.

He has also called on the Welsh Government to press ahead with reviewing the impact of the new default 20mph restrictions throughout Wales, as well as the guidelines that Local Authorities have been told to follow.

Llyr Gruffydd MS said: “I think most people would support the 20mph speed limit in principle if there had been a more meticulous approach to which areas we’re exempted.

“The policy will take some time to properly bed in, but work needs to start soon to review whether more roads should be exempted in Wrexham. It only has 10 at the moment. This contrasts starkly with other parts of Wales where the number is much higher.

“Wrexham Council and the Welsh Government need to work together to make sure that the implementation of the policy is done in a pragmatic and proportionate way.

“It has been shown in other parts of Wales that this is possible. Gwynedd Council, which is run by a Plaid Cymru administration has been able to secure 85 exemptions. There are over 150 exemptions in Swansea.

Plaid Cymru’s Llyr Gruffydd MS

“The Welsh Government need to actively demonstrate they are listening to people, and the best way they can do that is by working to make sure that additional exemptions are put in place in the areas where it makes sense.

“The Labour Welsh Government needs to act swiftly on the Plaid Cymru amendment that was passed by the Senedd. To do that it needs to give Local Authorities the tools and resources they need to conduct their reviews.

“I support the principle of introducing lower limits where they’re needed. My priority is to save lives on our roads each year and minimise accidents and injuries. The policy was adopted in Spain a few years ago and the evidence shows that it does make a real difference.

“There is also evidence that shows that the policy will save the NHS in Wales £92m every year whilst also freeing up ambulances and other emergency services at a time when they’re already overstretched.” ‌

We asked Wrexham Council for comment on whether any roads in the county borough are being considered for exemption and if so when are they are expected to be introduced.

We also asked if there has been any futher correspondence with the Welsh Government about exempting any additional roads

In response a spokesperson for Wrexham Council said: “All roads in Wrexham where the national speed limit of 30mph were in place changed to 20mph – the law change had this effect and was not a local matter to influence

“There were 10 exemptions to this in Wrexham. All Wrexham’s exemptions where made operative to coincided with the implementation of the change in national speed limit

“We have received a number of complaints and observations. These are logged and in line with our approach, we will in due course undertake post change reviews.

“Wrexham Council are part of a number of Welsh Government working groups on the topic of the 20mph roll-out, and we continue to engage in these meetings (along with colleagues from around Wales).

“We have no plans other than this at present.”

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