Support our Nation today - please donate here

20mph probe withdrawn by senior councillors

16 Feb 2024 3 minute read
A vandalised 20mph sign – Image: Local Democracy Reporting Service

Bruce SinclairLocal Democracy Reporter

A probe into Wales’ 20mph default speed limit has been withdrawn by senior councillors and a council scrutiny group will consider the matter instead.

The new road regulation came into force in September last year and saw most roads in Wales that were 30mph switch to 20 – although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.

The Welsh Government says the new default speed limit is expected to result in 40 per cent fewer road collisions, save six to 10 lives every year and avoid 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.


A call for a Pembrokeshire working party to discuss the new 20mph limit by area rather than the default roll-out has now been withdrawn.

A Notice of Motion before Pembrokeshire County Council’s February Cabinet meeting, by Pembroke Dock Bufferland councillor Michele Wiggins said: “The Welsh government have agreed to work collaboratively with local highway authorities to reflect on the application of the guidance in different parts of Wales.

“As a councillor for Pembrokeshire I agree with the 20mph, but not a blanket roll-out.

“I would like to put a Notion of Motion together for a working party to discuss areas as a large proportion of Pembrokeshire residents and businesses do not agree with the blanket limit and this is a democracy.”

Earlier this year, members of the county council’s Cabinet backed a series of exemptions in the county, where the 30mph limit is retained.

A report for Cabinet members recommended that any decision on a working group was deferred.


The report concluded: “Extensive work has been undertaken to date to introduce the 20mph and there is recognition there has been concerns raised by some motorists in Pembrokeshire.

“It has also placed significant workload on officers to deliver the work, and that work still continues in terms of introducing buffer limits.

“Given the scale of this scheme, council resources have been very stretched, and there is no spare capacity within the team to either consider new requests, or to support extensive review work.

“Normally, when new speed limits are introduced, the council’s time-scale is 12 months post implementation for any review, to allow time for any new scheme to ‘bed in,’ or the full extent of issues to be evidenced.”

At the February meeting, Cllr Wiggins withdrew her motion, saying she was content the council’s services overview and scrutiny committee would be considering the matter once modelling on the buffer zones had been completed, expected in late March, and a Welsh Government review undertaken.

The introduction of the default 20mph speed limit on the majority of 30mph roads in Wales sparked protests and sign vandalism in many areas, including Martletwy, Crymych, Hermon and Mynachlogddu, with signs daubed with paint.

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
2 months ago

And if they ban vehicles completely they could save even more lives. But it is just a bout practicality.
If they banned jobs, nobody would get the sack.or made redundant
Mr Drakefords thinking..

Pet Dawg
Pet Dawg
2 months ago

It’s a good idea but been poorly rolled out. Welsh Government have thrown a policy at local government and told them to deal with it, with poor communications on how the it may be evaluated.

I’d like to see a rethink on through-roads. Maybe A-roads that are not densely built-up should return to 30mph?

Paul ap Garth
Paul ap Garth
2 months ago
Reply to  Pet Dawg

‘A’ roads, even in densely built up can return to 30mph. Swansea and Cardiff have done it within the new laws.
A470 in Cardiff is 30mph – even past Whitchurch High School.
A4118 in Swansea is 30mph. – except past Olchfa school which is 20mph and Upper Killay.

Pet Dawg
Pet Dawg
2 months ago
Reply to  Paul ap Garth

I have no issue with the law. Just think the roll out has been sloppy and lack of clarity that there’s room to review and change where needed. Just as you’ve pointed out, I think we need to see more exceptions for such examples.

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.