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Councillors call for U-turn on 20mph speed limits

02 Oct 2023 3 minute read
A 20 mph speed limit sign in Cardiff

Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter

Councillors have called for roads that were recently changed to 20 mph speed limits to revert back to 30 mph.

The motion calling for the U-turn, tabled by the Conservatives group at Cardiff Council, also calls for an urgent review into the impacts of the default 20 mph speed limit and for the findings to be published in three months.

A new law introduced by the Welsh Government means that nearly all built up areas in Wales became 20 mph zones from September 17.

Local authorities were asked to submit certain roads which they felt should be exempt from the default 20 mph speed limit.

No date has yet been given for a debate on the recent motion, proposed by Councillor Joel Williams and seconded by Councillor Calum Davies.

In full, it calls on Cardiff Council to:

Exempt all roads within Cardiff that had 30 mph speed limits before the introduction of The Restricted Roads (20 mph speed limit) (Wales) Order 2022 from remaining at 20 mph and therefore revert these roads back to 30 mph speed limits

Undertake an urgent review into the adverse impacts of the default 20 mph speed limit and publish findings within three months of the date of this motion being debated

Once roads in Cardiff revert back to 30 mph speed limits; work with local communities to ensure any requests to reduce roads to 20 mph speed limits are undertaken on a case-by-case basis

Mixed reaction

The introduction of the 20 mph speed limit law has resulted in a mixed reaction from members of the public and ignited fierce political debate.

Those opposed to it argue that it will have a negative impact on the Welsh economy, increase congestion and increase response times for emergency call outs.

A petition set up calling for the default 20 mph speed limit law to be rescinded has so far gained more than 455,000 signatures.

Welsh Government deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters, survived a vote of no confidence last week which was put forward by the Conservatives following the introduction of the 20 mph law.

However, there has also been wide support for the new law, which is intended to improve road safety.

The leader of Cardiff Council, Councillor Huw Thomas, vocalised his backing of the new law in the most recent full council meeting on September 21. He said: “I am very proud how most of the city is already 20 mph.

“We had repeated calls across numerous parties to roll this out in their areas. It will save lives.”

A number of polls were carried out in relation to the introduction of the 20 mph law.

One poll, carried out by YouGov on behalf of Welsh language magazine Barn Cymru, saw 61% of the 1,051 respondents answer that they were opposed to the speed limit reduction.

The same poll saw 31% of respondents answer that they were in support of the speed limit reduction.

Another poll, conducted by Redfield and Wilton Strategies, saw 46% of respondents supporting the speed limit change and 34% opposing it.

A poll for ITV showed that 66% of respondents were opposed to the speed limit change and that 31% support it.


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Robert
6 months ago

Dim diolch, mae 20 mph yn da iawn.

Jonathan Dean
Jonathan Dean
6 months ago

Why didn’t they request this before the law came in like on Ynys Môn?

Three months is far too soon. This needs to be given at least 12 if not 24 months

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
6 months ago

So lets get this straight – “Unsafe roads” is the new Tory Policy, the new vote winner for a party on its way out!

Mike
Mike
6 months ago
Reply to  adopted cardi

And Labour’s policy Is ?

adopted cardi
adopted cardi
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike

people first, the money god second, not the other way round.
Different concept from your tory standpoint

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago

Cons lining their troops up for effect. They will game this all the way to the next election.

Philip
Philip
6 months ago

This is not news. The Conservative Party in Wales is digging ever deeper looking for votes

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago

So:

1 Put them all back to 20
2 Conduct an urgent review into the impacts of 20

I don’t know about politics, but this is a moron’s idea of science.

However, Cardiff Council, just like every council in Wales has the right to choose between 20 and 30 for every section of built-up area in their control.

John
John
6 months ago

The council’s have been bribed to enforce it Flintshire were given 48.000

max wallis
max wallis
6 months ago

A silly impractical motion, just to get publicity. People were against Cardiff Council exemption Cowbridge Rd East through Canton when they introduced the 20mph zone several years ago. Now the road is included, it works it is simpler.and safer for cyclists. Cowbridge Rd West through Ely Bridge community should not have been exempted this time as it by far exceeds the criteria for keeping 20mph. Excluding it as being the “A48” does not meet the Tory policy of “20mph where needed”. Local residents and some Labour Cllrs wanted 20mph; but the local Cllr Cabinet member Peter Bradbury didn’t. Cardiff Tories… Read more »

Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
6 months ago

Look who’s voting? The Conservative dummies on Cardiff Council!! – Cardiff! where the maximum speed cross-city is 13 mph, because of traffic lights, but can drop to 8 mph in busy periods, and where, very little has changed, most of it for the better. For the FIRST time, people are keeping to 20mph on Gabalfa Roundabout and you no longer have to take tour life in your hands to get out of Whitchurch Road. The only downside has been yesterday on Western Avenue; 30 mph all through- but some bonehead in front of me as we crossed the Taff suddenly… Read more »

Fenton t fox
Fenton t fox
6 months ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

That’s because the speed limit drops to 20 mph just before UWIC all the way to the football ground,there actually is a 20 mph sign just past the bridge over the river.

saveenergy
saveenergy
6 months ago

“A number of polls were carried out in relation to the introduction of the 20 mph law.”

But you can get any answer you want … by changing the way you ask the questions .

See… Leading Questions – Yes Prime Minister

saveenergy
saveenergy
6 months ago

“A number of polls were carried out in relation to the introduction of the 20 mph law.”

But you can get any answer you want … by changing the way you ask the questions .
Put… Leading Questions – Yes Prime Minister into your search engine

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

Glad I live in Gwynedd…

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
6 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

It has been applied in a more considered way in Gwynedd, most seem to have 30 MPH buffer zones before 20 MPH in town/village proper whereas in Wrexham you can go from 50 to 20 in one step because they cannot be arsed to apply any thought to where it should and could be applied.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

Exactly, Mr Siencyn is an old hand at this, in fact thinking back, Lee Waters owes him an apology for remarks he made a couple of years ago. The auction world’s loss was Gwynedd’s gain in my opinion…

Last edited 6 months ago by Mab Meirion
Gillian Jones
Gillian Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

Well said. Llay new road for example.

Jeff33
Jeff33
6 months ago

Tories causing trouble. These are the types who say we have to accept brexit. At least Labour put 20 mph in their manifesto that we voted them in on.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
6 months ago

Do cyclists have to follow the 20mph ruling. I find, as a pedestrian, too many cyclists whizz along at high speed with no regard to the well being of pedestrians.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

What I’ve read indicates that cyclists are not covered by the 20mph, or any speed limit on public roads. They can be charged with “cycling furiously” if they cause injury I believe.
An opportunity for a Senedd petition perhaps. I don’t know if our government has the power under the conditions of the devolution imposed by Westminster, to make cyclists comply though.

If there was such a petition I imagine many of the 450,000 would be in somewhat of a quandary. Which would win out dislike of 20mph limits or dislike of cyclists!

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

It would have to be a very fit cyclist indeed to maintain a speed of over 20mph. When pedalling I doubt much more that about 15mph is possible on most bicycles, and many of those being ridden would fall apart at anything more than about 10mph! But, yeah, cyclists are a concern on mixed use routes, and a bit of an annoying nightmare on footways where they have no legal right to be at all. However, there are some cyclists that show consideration, so not all are ignorant p****s who carve up pedestrians and think a red light at pedestrian… Read more »

Mike
Mike
6 months ago
Reply to  Linda Jones

Should compulsory to use cycle lanes,when they don’t how are supposed to give them space,Alensbank Road classic example

Richard 1
Richard 1
6 months ago

Utter nonsense. Just get used to it.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
6 months ago

I’m glad to see the Tories have their priorities right….. forget the coat of living crisis, the environment, helping people with energy coats and leveling-up, they won’t get the votes.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

‘Costs’ ! lol!

TomTom82
TomTom82
6 months ago

The majority of people hate this new law. It’s a stupid idea. At 30mph the average driver has plenty of time to react to a potential collision. Most accidents occur at 40mph or above. Road deaths have declined year on year since records began. It’s moronic to penalise good drivers for the carelessness of others.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago
Reply to  TomTom82

The graph looks like Eryri, up and down as car numbers increased and manufactures improved their vehicles, probably follows the end of BL and the importation of foreign made cars and the introduction of seat belts and other safety features. The reduction of pea souper fog as coal fires gave way to central heating will have had some effect. It certainly is not year on year I’m afraid, but it does make for interesting reading… Records began in 1926 but 1941 was the worst year, probably had something to do with the black out and dimmed headlamps. Interesting fact though,… Read more »

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  TomTom82

Where do you get your figures from? Most of those opposed are those who have been triggered by the extreme-right. And, the policy was in Welsh Labour’s 2021 Senedd election manifesto, there was consultation and people did know about it. It might also be useful to know that the scheme was first floated in 2018 – by Tories in Wales! The kind of collision that this legislation was brought in to potentially counter (it’s just changed the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph, and isn’t ‘blanket’ as you’ve been lied to about. This means that individual local authorities are… Read more »

BigE
BigE
6 months ago

We all knew, a considerable time ago when the 20mph signs were being erected and painted on roads. Why wait for objections and petitions until after it became a fact.

Chris taff
Chris taff
6 months ago

Only the other I was driving at 20mph and child still ran in front of me he came out of 2 parked cars. They want to take this to schools and teach kids not to run out between parked car, lucky the child was unhurt. Not only the motorist got be careful also the people on the streets got to be wise as well.

Joe h
Joe h
6 months ago

I would often visit Wales on holidays on numerous times throughout the year.
I have let visit Wales know, that I will NO longer visit due to this daft and overly extreme law.
Bye , bye Wales and many of your tourist’s:(.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe h

I’m just surprised you didn’t stop visiting years ago when we introduced the 5p charge on plastic bags

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe h

Most of my local driving includes a few 20’s and they hardly impede me. Wales has fantastic places to see and visit, the food is great but for a small drop in some area’s , this has been blown all out of proportion by a party that is so desperate to win the next election it will lie to the polling station about this. And it does it all the way to the top. 15 minute cities is the next unicorn they have conjured up, expect ARTD to start on that band wagon soon. Same conspiracy as 7 waste bins… Read more »

David Thomas
David Thomas
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

Lee Waters quote “if you think this is painful just wait to see what’s coming next.”
More people have signed the petition than people who voted Libour.

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  David Thomas

About that petition. I need a few email addresses and a list of post codes to game it. The way this has taken off screams investigation, bet I wont find forums discussing how to sign it multiple times eh?
But we voted on it.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago
Reply to  Joe h

Good riddance to your bad rubbish.

Sikejsudjek
Sikejsudjek
6 months ago

I don’t agree with putting them all back to 30 mph. It’s just some of the main roads that should go back to 30 mph.

Murdo Macleod
Murdo Macleod
6 months ago

Ban the wheel

R Tinkler
R Tinkler
6 months ago

Roads near schools should be put to a speed limit of 20 miles per hour from 8am to 9.30 am and a similar time at the end of school hours

Marc
Marc
6 months ago

Probably Welsh But! Also because after Brexit a lot of Germans are now resident of the UK.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago
Reply to  Marc

Could you translate that into English for me please.

Simon
Simon
6 months ago

I’ve started to see impatient drivers doing dangerous overtaking manoeuvres to get round those who are respecting the 20 mph limit. How does that make roads safer?

Colio
Colio
6 months ago

More lives will be lost. 3 paedestrian lives lost in 5 years in Cardiff. 2 paedestrian lives lost m4 jtn 34 too jtn 32. However now emergency services will be slowed expect any lives to be lost. RNLi responding to lifeboat, slowed. Firefighters responding to station slowed. Medical responders also limited to 20mph when seconds count. Then blue light responders are slowed to 40mph instead of 50mph. One good thing is hospital waiting should lower with this. They can go straight to morgue

Jules
Jules
6 months ago

Wouldn’t all this money and time be better spent on the NHS? The country is going into winter in a cost of living crisis with people going to food banks and massive waiting lists for surgery and no solutions for fixing social care, and yet the government is choosing to spent £33m and the rest on doing this. I’m sorry, but what a total waste of tax payers money. The 20mph isn’t a ‘trial’… they’re implementing this FOREVER and it’s totally unwarranted in MOST areas. Go and do some research. My car was travelling an average of 13mph around town… Read more »

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