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Local authority rejects calls to overrule 20mph speed limit

28 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Photo Elgan Hearn

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

Calls to overrule the Welsh Government’s new default 20mph speed limit have been rejected by a local authority.

Powys Conservative councillor Iain McIntosh asked for an urgent review of the implementation of the controversial speed limit which was introduced on 17 September.

He also asked for Powys councillors to be allowed a vote on whether the speed limit should “continue” to be implemented in Powys.

Cllr McIntosh said: “It is imperative that as elected representatives we should be able to measure public opinion and, at times of public outrage over such a decision, and have the opportunity to vote about the future implementation of the 20mph speed limit accordingly.”

Responding the Mr McIntosh, Liberal Democrat portfolio holder for highways, transport and recycling, Cllr Jackie Charlton said: “Local authorities do not have the power to alter this national limit and therefore are unable to rescind the made order.

“Welsh Government did accept that this lowered national limit may not be appropriate in all settings on the existing restricted roads, and published exception guidance for local authorities to apply.

“This guidance was issued to ensure there was a consistent approach across the whole of Wales when deciding which sections of restricted roads should be exempted.

“Powys County Council, as well as the Welsh Government who are the highway authority for the trunk roads in Powys, have been consistent in applying the criteria for exceptions in line with the published guidance.

“As the highway authority for the county roads, the council will continue to monitor and review speed limits, using Welsh Government published guidance as appropriate.”

Flexibility

A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “Our exceptions guidance states highway authorities continue to have flexibility to set local speed limits, which are right for individual roads, reflecting local circumstances.

“The guidance also states that where a decision deviates from the exceptions guidance, highway authorities should have a clear and reasoned case for doing so.”

Earlier this year the government asked each highway authority to consider if and where exceptions should be made and for these traffic orders to also be made on September 17 in conjunction with the default 20mph order.

A consultation took place from June 30 to July 21 which asked for Powys residents views on roads that will be the “exception” to the 20mph traffic orders.

Nearly 250 stretches of road in the county were included in the consultation.

In total 28 objections were made which allowed the council to tweak the speed limits for several roads.

The introduction of the new speed limit has sparked a huge backlash in Wales and beyond.

Signs have been vandalised in some parts of Wales, and almost 200 people marched in protest at the speed limit in Cardiff on Saturday. Over 444,000 people have also signed a Senedd petition calling for the 20mph limit to be revoked.

On Wednesday evening in the Senedd, Lee Waters, the minister in charge of introducing the speed limit, survived a vote of no confidence tabled by the Welsh Conservatives.


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Ann
Ann
7 months ago

“This guidance was issued to ensure there was a consistent approach across the whole of Wales when deciding which sections of restricted roads should be exempted.”
The big problem is that there has not been consistency between authorities! A road near me changes from 40 to 20 as it crosses the border despite no significant change in pedestrian and cycle activity or road width!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

Funny how the Tories like to listen to public opinion when it’s a subject they oppose, which is most things Wales-only but I didn’t see the same urgency when numerous petitions were signed regarding the devolution of the Crown Estate, Criminal Justice , Policing and power to create a bank holiday to celebrate Saint David’s Day. As said, funny that. If the English Conservatives decided to make England’s default speed to 20mph you can bet this Tory councilor in Powys would including the Welsh Tories would argue Wales should follow suit and how the Welsh Government would use emotive language… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago

61 ” doctrinaire councils” in England have implemented 20 mph limits on roads over the last few years, many of them Tory councils,but there has not even been a mention of it by the Tory’s, in regards to it being uncalled for, or anti car user or costing the country billions. As soon as it is implemented in Cymru, all hell it let loose. Why was there no outrage at the implementation in England, we travel there, and they come here.

Paul
Paul
7 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Because the change in Wales happened after the Uxbridge byelection where Conservatives won by attacking ULEZ (a Tory creation) as anti-motorist gave them a winning strategy.

Most Tory newspapers that usually ignore Wales are happy to support the attacks too.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
7 months ago
Reply to  Paul

That doesn’t answer the question why there has been no comment by the Tories and the right-wing press alleging so-called “fury” at long-standing 20 mph in, for instance, Portsmouth. They have targeted Wales and ignored the presence of 20 mph limits in their own country. They likewise kept silent regarding council tax hikes on holiday homes there.

Last edited 7 months ago by Rhosddu
Catharine
Catharine
7 months ago

In Japan where I live, a 30 km. speed limit (slightly below 20 miles) is standard in densely populated areas.

Jeff
Jeff
7 months ago

Spent a pleasant few day in the Norwich area, loads of 20mph. The place hasn’t imploded, people are still alive, traffic still moves, people adhere to the limit in the main. Cons are going to try yo game this all the way to the next election forgetting the state of the country due to their policies.

Taliesyn West
Taliesyn West
7 months ago

“who’s bread I eat, hist song I sing’

Dare not go against toeing the line. Apply the Directive from the all knowing at the bay.

Ignore the voters, tax payers, populace.

The words ‘covid servant’ are redundant.

460k and counting. The beginning of the end of 23 years of Welsh Labour.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago

Thirteen comments received, by your own admission, of which we can this morning (29th Sep) now see just eight!

Congratulations on your wheeze of putting a ‘sunset clause’ into the visibility of the full range of opinion on this Forum!

This will no doubt ensure that fewer of a certain deplorable class of contrarian will, in future, intrude upon your complacent consensus.

Steve
Steve
7 months ago

20mph zones can work as long as they are done correctly, there are plenty of places that I have been where 20 was very much adequate for the specific road and everyone happily complied, the issue is 20mph on roads that really shouldn’t be 20 creating a stigma around the whole thing

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