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Council leader calls for introduction of 20mph speed limit to be delayed

06 Sep 2023 2 minute read
20mph sign

Bruce Sinclair, local democracy reporter

A council leader has called for the imminent introduction of 20mph speed limits in Wales to be delayed due to costs during a time of unprecedented financial challenges.

The Welsh Government passed legislation last July which will see the default speed limit on residential, built-up streets reduced from 30mph to 20 throughout Wales from September 17.

Welsh Government says the 20mph 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.

During discussions on Pembrokeshire council’s ongoing budget pressures, Council leader David Simpson told fellow members of the council’s Cabinet, meeting on September 4, that he had raised the issue with Welsh Government representatives.

Emergency measures

At that meeting, members had backed emergency measures – including a moratorium on non-essential council expenditure – to reduce an expected county council budget shortfall of £4.8m by the end of the financial year.

Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack said setting the 2023-‘24 budget had proved difficult, but was partly offset by a better-than-expected settlement from Welsh Government, which is not expected to be matched in future years due to it “facing the toughest financial situation since devolution”.

A call was made at the meeting for Welsh Government to “take their share of the pain”.

Council Leader David Simpson said he had been “very vocal” in meetings with Welsh Government representatives over potential cost savings, “asking them to put on hold the 20mph scheme and the extension in the number of members of the Senedd they are plodding ahead on”.

“The 20mph is still going ahead and I imagine the Senedd members is still going ahead,” he added.

Last month, Pembrokeshire County Council agreed 27 areas of the local road network would remain as 30mph limits by ‘exception’.


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Ed Thomas
Ed Thomas
7 months ago

It’s a shame that it covers most of the restricted roads in this country and not targeting those were the risk to individuals is greatest. We could also have used the money spent on this farce, to educate pedestrians, cyclists, motorists, and parents how to properly use the roads. Instead everyone who drives now becomes responsible for the lack of road sense of the rest of the population.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed Thomas

Very well and succinctly put. It is a pity the Senedd doesn’t listen to such plain good sense. But, bound up as they are in their little Woke echo-chamber, they remain blithely out-of-touch with the real world.

Graham
Graham
7 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

Only wsy to get them to listen is basically vote them out of office, this will be their downfall , ill never vote labour again

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Graham

I am aware of and I respect the sound and sensible and justifiable historical reasons why so many in South Wales vote Labour. I think it is one measure of how far today’s politicians have departed from any grasp of or respect for the ordinary lives of people that even lifelong Socialists can end up saying, ‘I’ll never vote Labour again’. It is analogous that others like myself, despite a background and experiences tending to lead us right of centre, are now saying ‘I’ll never vote Conservative again’. We live in strange, politically rootless times where politics seems rather part… Read more »

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

Hyperbole much!

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

You really don’t like me, do you, Padi?

Chris miller
Chris miller
7 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

Somebody must have already cottoned on to this one,but with fines likely to produce a very profitable windfall for the council’s,that means that the police allowance when the council set their costs for the following year will be able to be covered by the fines,so saving the council’s thousands of pounds.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris miller

It’s pretty simple really, don’t speed = don’t get a ticket. That way there is no windfall for local authorities.

Dewi Evans
Dewi Evans
7 months ago
Reply to  Chris miller

Fines don’t go to the Council, or the Welsh Government

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Ed Thomas

“Instead everyone who drives now becomes responsible for the lack of road sense of the rest of the population.”

Please explain the logic behind that conclusion.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  CapM

It was always the sensible assumption of responsible drivers that they should make allowance for the errors of others, however annoying, since no-one should risk injury or death to themselves or others who can see how to avoid bad situations. Nevertheless, it does not seem sensible to put the entire onus for road safety on the responsible motorist without also expecting other road users to behave responsibly. We motorists do feel unjustly demonised by this official anti-car attitude. The logic of fair play seems perfectly transparent.

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Philip Davies

It seems that as a result of lowering the speed limit to 20mph you anticipate a rise in’ bad situations’ due to an increase in irresponsible behaviour by other road users. Bristol has had a default 20mph limit for years so you could read the report findings they’ve made to see if your fears are justified or an unnecessary anxiety. Spoiler alert – it’s pro and con – on the one hand you’ll have one less thing to worry about on the other hand you’ll have one less thing to whinge about. I think it’s right that the onus should… Read more »

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  CapM

I heartily agree that there should be an onus on the motorist which reflects the very significant potential degree of hazard his vehicle represents if it is not under control at all times. I prefaced my remarks with a statement to that effect. As to any possible rise in careless behaviour on our roads, whether by motorists or any other road users, once the 20 mph default is applied, I had nothing whatever to say. I merely observe that each and every road user has their own appropriate degree of responsibility for their behaviour whenever they use our roads. That… Read more »

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  CapM

[Correction – editing not allowed] I heartily agree that there should be an onus on the motorist which reflects the very significant potential degree of hazard his vehicle represents if it is not under control at all times. I prefaced my remarks with a statement to that effect. As to any possible rise in careless behaviour on our roads, whether by motorists or any other road users, once the 20 mph default is applied, I had nothing whatever to say. I merely observe that each and every road user has their own appropriate degree of responsibility for their behaviour whenever… Read more »

Gareth Johns
Gareth Johns
6 months ago
Reply to  Ed Thomas

At last somebody talking sense more or less saying what i’ve been tweeting for the last 3 months.

simon m hughes
simon m hughes
7 months ago

A simple but effective method of stopping these outlandish policies is to hit the politicians where it hurts by withholding our council tax until we the people decide whether such significant changes to our daily lives are supported. This is not illegal as we are not refusing payment but withholding it until this issue has been dealt with.

Ian
Ian
7 months ago

Who do we have to vote out in the next election to punish them for this undemocratic change? Never met a single person who wants this. This is against our will.

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Ian

“Never met a single person who wants this. “ To add my anecdote. I’m met a number of people who want this. Others that accept that it could be an improvement but think they are likely to be on the wrong end of a speed camera. Some that are outright anti. However when it comes down to a 20mph limit in their area the antis tend to be more supportive of a 20mph limit. Maybe out of self interest or possibly, without the luxury of anonymity, they fear being associated with wanting a higher speed limit should a casualty occur in… Read more »

Christian Thomas
Christian Thomas
7 months ago

The 20mph limit is designed to reduce collisions and injuries whilst encouraging walking and cycling.

On a flat road I can easily do over 20mph and I’m mid 60s.

Unfortunately I foresee many more confrontations between cyclists and motorists, also an increase in cycling related accidents! Fingers crossed I’m wrong.

If there was to be a referendum on this topic now I’m sure I know which way the vote would go.

I wonder sometimes is Government’s intentionally want to make themselves unpopular!

max wallis
max wallis
7 months ago

10 days to go, the 20mph poles erected, staff signed up for work the weekend after next. Delaying it won’t save money, so it’s quite wrong to call for delay on these grounds. Will Hayward ridiculed the estimate of £6.4billion hit to the economy which the Tories use. Most trip-times being lengthened by1-2 minutes won’t be noticed, speeding offences will be treated leniently with a 50% leeway. Much of Cardiff accepted 20mph with little fuss – why not the rest of us?

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  max wallis

‘50% leeway’?!!? So the police will turn a blind eye to their radar guns if anyone reverts to 30 mph in a nominal 20 mph road? Who are you trying to kid? Only a 2 mph – 20% – latitude will be permitted and that is going to be zealously applied owing to the simmering resentment and rising rebellious tendencies amongst increasingly frustrated private motorists. Such a slow speed is impossible to maintain if one tries to keep at a steady 20 using the average speedometer, consequently speeds will be hovering nervously around 18 mph or less to avoid the… Read more »

Thorski
Thorski
7 months ago

We all know this is going to fail miserably. It’s just going to cause more people to be frustrated and do even more stupid manoeuvres.

Calling it now, they will realise afterwards that this is a mistake and revert it back in the future. Working in government myself I see this time and time again, this is no different.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Thorski

Except that we are unfortunately dealing here with a blindly fanatical Green Communist regime in Cardiff that is ideologically impervious to pragmatic reason and will only double down on disaster while blaming the long-suffering electorate for not collaborating with their crazed agenda.

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