Calls for more cooperation over 20mph speed limit exemptions
The Welsh Government is being urged to work with local authorities to review whether additional roads should be exempt from the 20mph speed limit.
Llyr Gruffydd, who represents North Wales in the Senedd, said it is particularly important to do so in areas such as Wrexham where the current number of exemptions is extremely low.
Mr Gruffydd said Wrexham Council and the Welsh Government need to work together as the policy beds in to make sure its implementation is “pragmatic and proportionate”.
The Plaid Cymru politician pointed out that Wrexham only currently has 10 exemptions compared to over 150 in Swansea, while Plaid Cymru-run Gwynedd council has put 85 in place.
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.
This follows a Plaid Cymru proposal that was recently passed in the Senedd which demanded ministers regularly conduct the reviews.
Mr Gruffydd argued that Local Authorities need to be empowered to make further exemptions in areas that make sense.
He 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.
“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.”
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