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Drivers warned 20-mph speed limit will be massive culture shift

05 Aug 2023 2 minute read
20mph sign. Picture by Carmarthenshire County Council

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

Drivers have been warned they will need to adapt to a massive change in culture when default 20mph speed limits are introduced in Wales from 17 September.

The Welsh Government is bringing in lower limits on most roads that previously had 30mph limits in a move they say will save lives and improve our health.

As part of the change, which comes into force next month, Denbighshire Council is putting up 20mph signs across the county, albeit with stickers currently covering the signs while 30mph remains the limit.

Ahead of the major change, the council’s lead member for highways Cllr Barry Mellor said drivers in the county will face a huge culture shift.

Massive change

“It will be hard to get used to the speed limit. I’ve been trying on roads around Rhyl to try and keep my car at 20mph. It is hard,” he said.

“It will be a massive change in culture. But I can remember when they brought in the seatbelt law.

“People said that will never happen. But it did. It took a bit of time. It is just something that people will get used to.

“I also think that after six or 12 months Welsh Government will take stock, have a look at how it’s been run, and if it needs changes, they may allow more discretion on the 30mph exception roads. I think they might do that.”

Cllr Mellor said Denbighshire has seven exceptions to the new law agreed by Welsh Government, meaning the roads can remain at 30mph.

These exceptions are only allowed in areas which are not considered to be built up.

Cllr Mellor added: “Welsh Government are saying it will make the road safer and promote walking and cycling.

“What Welsh Government’s take is on it is that even if it drops the speed to 24 or 25mph, it (the law) will still save lives. If it saves one child, this is worth it.”


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wayne
wayne
8 months ago

This 20 mph policy will benefit the retail industry. Consumption of fuel will increase, sale of face masks will go back to Covid-19 levels. A new industry will grow starting with the sale of RED Flags, A car walking scheme will quickly follow. This will encourage road side vendors at various hot spots. Drinks and snack outlets will spring up around traffic lights and roundabouts. Labour has been very clever in the potential of a new industry. Or am I having a bad dream!

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  wayne

I think you’ll find that now motorists have had their right to run over pedestrians and poison our air taken away from them what they will really need is a lot of tissues to wipe their rabid frothing mouths whilst driving their Nissan Squashkids. Personally I hope that the motorists who can’t reconcile themselves to safer driving and cleaner air end up paying a ton of fines and eventually have their licences suspended. That way they’ll have to walk and use public transport, maybe then they’ll see just how bad it is to be a pedestrian with so many appalling… Read more »

John hogg
John hogg
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

you do realise that driving slower speed in 3rd gear is actually more polluting thus is counter productive whats needed is speed bumps and enforcement only in designated areas schools on school hours, hospitals etc so when we are all chocking up the roads meanwhile electric bikes and scooters will be zooming past you its already happening in Edinburgh

Karl
Karl
8 months ago
Reply to  John hogg

Electric bikes are limited to 15.5mph for assistance. Illegal bikes you are talking about. Speed bumps mean race between or get oversized vehicles that don’t notice the bumps.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  John hogg

What we need are fewer (by which I mean none whatsoever) so-called SUVs.

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Can’t fit a lawnmower in a fiesta

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  David

Then get a van or a pick-up, it’ll do the job just as well (if not better than) a so-called suv. The vast majority of suvs are not off-road capable in any case in spite of what the adverts tell you.

wayne
wayne
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Barry, Barry, Barr, Vans that can’t get out of 2nd pollute even more!!! So when you want a parcel delivered, be prepared for an increase in delivery charges as more vans and more drivers will be needed. May be a job that an asylum seeker may be allowed to do. To help out. Look at the traffic congestion in India and the Blue haze. This is a silly way to force us to fly the Labour RED FLAG.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  wayne

Firstly, the best way to cut air pollution is to go electric (contrary to what the climate change deniers claim). Secondly, if there is a need for more delivery drivers then great – more jobs, although your reference to refugees (which is completely off subject by the way) tells us everything we need to know. Thirdly, to everyone who disagrees with this policy perhaps you’d like to tell us your solution because the status quo can’t continue. All I’ve heard so far is a lot of motorists burying their heads very deeply in the sand pretending that the status quo… Read more »

wayne
wayne
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Didn’t Plaid Cymru vote with Labour. I believe that they are joined at the HIP!!! QED. M4 in a lot of areas have been down graded to 50 mph, no pedestrians allowed on the motorway’s. Explain that one!!! It’s time for the New, Plaid Cymru have forgotten about Independence and have joined the Unionists. Dr David Davies will be turning in his grave to see what’s become of his parties.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  John hogg

And why not enforcement in other areas (not just schools)? If a motorist is speeding I don’t care where they do it they should be fined.

And speed bumps are a pain in the @rse, if people drove sensibly we wouldn’t need them.

Ian
Ian
8 months ago
Reply to  John hogg

Flashing lights at school times down to twenty miles per hour totally agree and other danger spots but a blanket 20! Absolutely ridiculous.

karl
karl
8 months ago
Reply to  Ian

Air quality is what this is about. Air quality on my street is important to my life. Selfish drivers ruin everything.

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

What an utter load of rubbish, im a gardener and guess what walking isn’t an option yes lots of selfish drivers maybe pedestrians might also use their brains 2omph late at night stupid

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  David

OK I’m guessing that by gardener you mean professional gardener so you have a professional need to drive on a daily basis – fair enough, that’s part of your job and I don’t object to that. However, that doesn’t give you (or any other tradesperson) the right to drive badly. As for 20mph late at night, road safety laws don’t usually take the time of day into account and it would get complicated if they did. Also, visibility is far worse late at night so arguably there is a greater need for lower speed limits – not just for pedestrians… Read more »

karl
karl
8 months ago
Reply to  David

Polution changes at night does it, get some education

Dave
Dave
8 months ago

It’s will be a massive culture shift away from the Labour government more like. Save lives maybe but it all the design and safety features in moden cars these days far exceed the standards when the 30mph was introduced, what the 20mph will have a worse effect on our health, not an improvement as they claim!, all the extra emissions at driving slower in low gears, more stress at constantly looking at the speedo and that’s without the road rage. I can only hope many towns pull together and follow the lead of Biggleswick!! We need to get rid of… Read more »

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  Dave

I’m sorry to tell you this but referring to Drakeford as Dripford does not constitute a cogent political argument.

What you are really arguing for is selfishness.

And by the way, the 20mph speed limit won’t apply everywhere so congratulations for falling for that one.
It will be the default speed limit (but only in urban areas) and even then local councils can decide to increase the speed limit to 30 mph if they so choose. I suspect that what will happen is that the residential streets will be limited to 20mph and the main streets to 30mph.

wayne
wayne
8 months ago
Reply to  Barry Pandy

Barry,Barry, Never assume as it makes an ASS of U (you) and ME. We need the full facts Transparency, Honesty so we Know whats going to happen and where it is going to be happen. Labour lack Honesty and Transparency. The architect of this fiasco Lee Waters Lives in Penarth represents LLanelli and you can’t find him in LLanelli but ‘Y Senedd’ pay’s for a flat that, does he use? many in BurryPort say NO. A poster has been pinned to Stephen Kinnocks office door in Port Talbot,’Has anyone seen this Man!! Its time for Change.

Last edited 8 months ago by wayne
Keith Gogarth
Keith Gogarth
8 months ago

The Welsh Government is sadly beginning to become our of touch with society as is always the case with closed, elitist groups and sadly transforming into an ‘Aunty knows best’ political organisation with its can’t do this, can’t do that pronouncements. So sad.

Llyn
Llyn
8 months ago
Reply to  Keith Gogarth

Why does reducing the speed limit to 20mph on some roads have anything to do with nanny statism?

David
David
8 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

It does as country lanes are 60mph

karl
karl
8 months ago
Reply to  David

Anyone doing 60 in country lanes is a moron, to be polite.

karl
karl
8 months ago
Reply to  Keith Gogarth

Not out of touch with my family. No2 levels lower is key to better health. Thats a caring state

Cynthia Plant
Cynthia Plant
8 months ago

Another knock to the community carers

Phil P
Phil P
8 months ago

Absolutely pointless if anyone thinks this will make people use alternative transportation, I suffer with a lung condition and can not cycle or walk so dependent on my car, I will never vote Labour again they are making Wales unwelcome to visitors etc

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