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Police boss acknowledges mixed reaction to 20mph speed limit

16 May 2024 2 minute read
A vandalised 20mph speed limit sign. Picture: LDRS

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

A newly re-elected Police and Crime Commissioner has acknowledged that the 20mph default speed limit introduced last September has received a mixed reaction on his patch.

This month Welsh Labour’s Andy Dunbobbin was re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales for the next four years.

The Welsh Government replaced the default 30mph speed limit with a new 20mph limit in September, becoming the first country in the UK to introduce such legislation.

During an exclusive interview with the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Mr Dunbobbin said he had visited towns where people were opposed to the new law and others, such as those in Gwynedd, where the reduced speed limit was welcomed.

Buckley

“I’ve been to Buckley where they are very vocal about their views on the 20mph,” he said.

“But equally there have been villages in Gwynedd that have really welcomed it as well, so there are polarised views on the matter.”

Mr Dunbobbin was then asked if police should be targeting drivers who exceed the speed limit.

“The Chief Constable Amanda Blakeman should be using evidence-based approach where there is that need,” he said.

“That will be where the chief constable chooses to deploy police officers.”

The local democracy reporting service then asked Mr Dunbobbin if drivers should receive a speeding ticket if they are caught driving marginally over the limit in a 20mph zone.

“It is not for me to make the law,” said Mr Dunbobbin.

“It is not up to police officers to make the law. The police officers are there to uphold the law. That’s the law and not within my powers.”

Response times

And has the 20mph speed limit affected police response times?

“I haven’t had anything flagged with me, regarding response times and getting to places,” said Mr Dunbobbin.

“There are national arrangements as well regarding how excessive the police vehicles and emergency vehicles can go above (the limit), and to the best of my knowledge, it is 20mph over what the speed limit would be.

“I could be wrong. It is an operational question. It depends where it is. There are quite a few variables.

“I’d expect police officers to respond as quickly as possible.”


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