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Wales’ new transport minister confirms commitment to 20mph default speed limit

04 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Cabinet Secretary North Wales and Transport Ken Skates.

Emily Price

The Welsh Government’s new cabinet secretary in charge of transport has confirmed that he is committed to Wales’ 20mph default speed limit.

Ken Skates was appointed the Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport by Wales’ new First Minister, Vaughan Gething before the Senedd broke for the Easter recess.

He replaced the former Deputy Minister for Transport, Lee Waters who was instrumental in implementing the landmark policy.

In a written question submitted to Mr Skates on March 27, the leader of the Conservatives in the Senedd, Andrew RT Davies quizzed the new government minister on whether he would consider axing the controversial road regulation.

Mr Davies wrote: “Will the minister consider scrapping the 20mph speed limit if there is no reduction in in road traffic collisions or fatalities?”

Mr Skates responded: “We are committed to the default 20mph speed limit in built up areas.

“It is too early to draw conclusions on the impact that 20mph has on road collisions and casualties in Wales.

“Longer term data will form part of the the Transport for Wales Monitoring Framework for 20mph.”

Exemptions

The new default was rolled out in residential areas in Wales in September 2023.

It saw most roads that were 30mph switch to 20mph – although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.

Welsh Government guidance for councils looking to exempt roads from the default has been criticised and could be altered following a review this year.

A record breaking Senedd petition calling for the 20mph default to be scrapped racked up almost half a million signatures.

This is enough to be considered for a debate in the Senedd.

However, the Petitions Committee has yet to confirm whether a debate will take place.

Opposed

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the limit from 30mph to 20mph will protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92m a year.

The Welsh Conservatives have heavily opposed the policy since its roll out.

The Welsh Government has said a review of the road regulation will look how the default 20mph speed limit has been implemented – but will not review the policy itself.

Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar said: “This admission from the Transport Minister will frustrate motorists across Wales.

“Labour and Plaid Cymru’s 20mph speed limit is damaging public transport services, it is damaging tourism, and it is set to cost the Welsh economy £9 billion.

“The Welsh Conservatives would scrap this policy as part of our plan to get Wales moving.”


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Why vote
Why vote
1 month ago

So is this what a labour government think of the population of the country they control, disregarding a pettition signed by its own countrymen/women and prior to any debate in the senedd the answer is no! Let’s hope the next election can bring an end to this tyranny and these deaf politicians end up where they belong unemployed.

Ian Hunter
Ian Hunter
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

The petitions committee have NOT disregarded, ignored or rejected the petition. The debate timing will be announced – as it says in the article. But don’t let truth spoil a good rant.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

A petition so badly worded that it actually undermined itself and signed by just over a fifth of the Welsh electorate doesn’t constitute a majority, or anything like it. Obviously nearly 80% of the population either support the 20mph default speed limit in built up areas, or it’s something that doesn’t bother them enough to do anything about it.

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Wording is not as important as the sentiment, we’re the most badly educated nation in the UK due to labour incompetence, don’t expect miracles. It could also be argued due to the average age that a lot of people are not tech literate enough to sign, and of course it wasn’t exactly well advertised either, most I spoke to didn’t know it existed prior to me mentioning it. Petitions with only a percentile of this ones number have been acted on with immediate effect, the biggest turn out in Senedd history should be seriously considered, especially considering the previously low… Read more »

Ruth
Ruth
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Only 5399 people have signed the petion to keep the 20mph so that says it all

Mark ball
Mark ball
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣Sustrans or Labour man 🤣🤣🤣

Lyndon
Lyndon
1 month ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

You can believe in your own opinion if you want, don’t create statistics that don’t ring true

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

Are we talking about the petition run by Tory councillor Lyall Reed of Sunderland, in England, the one signed by people from Albania, Bangladesh, and just about every other country on the planet? Why should our Gov listen to such cac, from people who are not eligible to vote in our country. Should we take into account the views of the people of Mongolia on changing our voting system for Senedd elections? Why not, the probably signed the last petition.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Oh look, the Tory councilor in England running the anti 20 mph campaign in Cymru, is in favour if 20 mph speed limits in his English council area. Is this hypocrisy, or just running a political campaign against Labour, I wonder.
https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/24053703.sunderland-councillor-running-wales-anti-20mph-campaign/&ved=2ahUKEwj32cGKkauFAxVHR0EAHSDpDu8QFnoECCIQAQ&usg=AOvVaw3aB4WlywxIawPy6laDD5i7

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Gareth

Well someone pulled the JSON data. 94% signatories from Wales, 5% from England and 0.1% from rest of the world. All the constituencies broken down too, so safe to say it’s fair and accurate, as has been confirmed by the Senedd.

Tony davies
Tony davies
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

Well being a Labour strong hold this Welsh government of ours will do anything they won’t and this 20 mph is a load of rubbish as you do not know when it starts and finishes bowing down the minority again .

Devin
Devin
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

Obviously being given back handers

Allen Rogers
Allen Rogers
1 month ago

Labour to complacent run roughshod over public people vote Labour and then moan for the next 4 years

Allen Rogers
Allen Rogers
1 month ago

They didn’t have to make default of 20 mph just put 20mph where needed could have saved a lot of money

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago
Reply to  Allen Rogers

Time managed limits already existed outside of schools, and have proven FAR more effective.
No money needed to be spent, the whole thing is a complete waste of our time and money.

Glyntwin
Glyntwin
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

Where are all these 20mph speed limits that are holding your day up and wasting so much of your time? You seem to still have enough spare time to set up a special ‘No to 20mph’ moniker and rant on on platforms such as this one. I drove from Aberystwyth to Cardiff the other week and only passed through 6 20mph zones, neither of which took longer than a minute to travel through (at 20mph)! Just get on with your life!

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  Glyntwin

The difference is if you live inside of one, like many of us do. We don’t the threat of fines or losing license for driving sensibly at 26mph. Not sure why that’s so difficult for people to understand?

Glyntwin
Glyntwin
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

When the speed limit was 30 where you live, was everyone driving at 36mph? I bet most were. How many lost their licenses? Now that the limit is 20, has anything changed other than people are now doing 26mph instead? I live inside one just like you. I’ll be much happier when I’m hit at 26 rather than 36mph. Why is that so difficult to understand?

Andy
Andy
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

The main reason is councils have wasted so much money and are at rock bottom so put 20 mph up and not long before all the fines come in they know they will get the money back 1st was pollution and they realised it causes more so they changed to saving lives sort the NHS out if they want to save lives

Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes
1 month ago

I cannot get over how the ignorant follow the party line no matter whether it is the wrong policy or that it impacts negatively on a large section of the populace. I have reviewed the evidence presented and find it porous at best. There is little evidence to make the vast majority of roads 20mph from 30mph. For this to occur each road would need to be researched as to how many fatalities/serious injury has occurred due to exceeding of the 30mph speed limit. Then each variable needs to be investigated I.e has the vehicle been stolen, drunk/drug relating to… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Hughes

“This system is broken and at the next sennedd election I say stand up to these dictators and vote them out.” The Labour Party in Wales are not very good dictators if they are holding an election where you can vote them out?

Mike
Mike
1 month ago
Reply to  Llyn

20 odd years is enough to see not much works in Wales anymore.please fix the the things that need fixing not this nonsense

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Not sure what you’re saying and how it relates to my previous reply?

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Love the idea of calling the Welsh Gov dictators. It is a tyranny, evil so and so’s…lets elect then out at the next election…. hang on….

We have elections? Who knew? That is something tyrannies don’t have and I thought we were in a dictatorship? In these elections in this tyranny then, people are vetted for their ability to vote yet we have a petition that is very lax in provenance touted as a sure fire method to rule all the UK. Why do we not adapt petitions then, in this democracy, sorry tyrrany?

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

This is a tactic of the right and far-right. Demonise and delegitimise those politicians and governments you don’t like, even if the accusations are absurd. Putin uses the same tactic calling Zelensky (a Jew) a nazi dictator.

zara sheppard
zara sheppard
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

You do know that elections were recently held in Russia right?

Tim
Tim
1 month ago

Living in a small village (one village shop, basically one road through) I can confirm speed limits do NOT stop speeding! Most people drove through the village at 20-25 mph anyway, the few idiots with no concept of the implications and aftermath that they could cause are still driving through at 40 plus. The money spent on this local to us would have been far better spent on putting pavements in to allow pedestrian access in and out of the village safely. But the issue ISN’T Labour, it’s politicians in general. ( I normally vote Tory, so please don’t assume… Read more »

David Thomas
David Thomas
1 month ago

Welcome to a one party state, look at Scotland, Russia, China for the future of the one party state.

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago
Reply to  David Thomas

The UK Government has been under Conservative control for 3 years less than the SNP has been in control of the Scottish Gov. By your measure when did Scotland become a one party state and is the UK now a one party Tory state?

R Smith
R Smith
1 month ago

Of course the ” New ” Transport secretary is going to continue damaging Wales with the 20mph enforcement , he has no say in the matter, he’s just filling a position in the Crook Born Guessing’s WAG , the Transport minister will be given jobs to do from above , all planned to try and appease all that oppose the 20mph Lie. Liebour still bleat on about the 20mph saving lives , the Spanish report used by Drakeford was a joke . Spains deaths and accidents went up after they introduced their 20mph speed limit, but of course that part… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago

In the long run drivers will adjust their behaviour. In the short run people killed by those who insist on speeding lose the opportunity to adjust to anything. The selfishness and short-sightedness of the majority on this thread make me sick

Mai
Mai
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Emotive claptrap. Very very few people are killed by “speeding” its one of the least causative factors in accidents – and the factor is absolutely miniscule when you add the extra emotion of pedestrian ‘children’ being killed by vehicle impact. People talk like pedestrian deaths because they step into a road and get hit by a ‘speeding’ vehicle is a pandemic. It’s so not. The money for this hobby horse project could have been better spent and better thought out – its part of a different agenda – and if ANONE believes that 20mph will ‘save the NHS in Wales… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Mai

It seems to me that the opponents of 20mph see the issue through too small a lens. The debate isn’t only about the people you are aware of but also those who are unwilling to share the roads with vehicles. How many children would walk to school if it weren’t for their parents’ fear of traffic? I used to have a neighbour who moved away just because crossing the main road was too frightening. This is coming closer to home as I and my wife grow older.

Mai
Mai
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Rich’ are you SERIOUSLY stating that all it takes to negate the already miniscule risk of being hit by a car whilst walking to school is a drop of 10mph? I don’t want to be rude but that is such nonsense. It never crossed my mind as a fear for when my kids started independently walking to school, on the pavement, as taught and the lollipop lady helped them on the crossing. Don’t live your life in such misplaced fear man. Less than 1 person killed a day across 68 million, mostly only themselves to blame too… Facts: Reported road… Read more »

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Mai

The main lesson of your stats seems to be that some people aren’t observant, with no apparent difference between drivers and pedestrians. It’d be hard to legislate against human inattention, so reducing the speed limit looks like a good way of reducing its bad effects.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 1

When you refer to speeding you are clearly talking about the soppy legal definition of speeding, which is driving slightly faster that the speed of a snail.

Geoff Frost
Geoff Frost
1 month ago

What an egotistical arrogant individual. He is paid by the people, but does not care about implementing the will of the people. I guess it excites him.
A smug low life.

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Frost

I think you mean he doesn’t care to implement the wishes of a minority. That’s not smug; that’s democracy.

Richard
Richard
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 1

What have you been smoking Richard?
This is clearly an extremely unpopular scheme.

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard

Your poor manners are characteristic of the anti20 arguments, along with an inability to consider the interests of any sector beyond the car lobby.

Michelle
Michelle
1 month ago

I think they should be asking the people what they want . Not just going with what they want. Alot of people are thinking we don’t need all these mps we save alot of money not having so many . The government need an upgrade. They need to a cap on there sending. Less mps would be better

Teddy gower
Teddy gower
1 month ago

Selective democracy in action. More people singed the petition against the limit than voted Labour in the last election.

Mai
Mai
1 month ago
Reply to  Teddy gower

Yeah but, but some Welsh people lived abroad and voted so no vote counts – 2 were even in Moldova – absolute scam 😉

Kevin
Kevin
1 month ago

Remember this when election comes up and vote them out. They will happily enlarge the gravy train with 36 more ams .with the increase in wages, secretarial staff’s,

FrankC
FrankC
1 month ago
Reply to  Kevin

Thankfully most people will have more important things to consider when it comes to voting than you and your bunch of speed crazed mates.

Gavin Watson
Gavin Watson
1 month ago

It appears to me that people making these decisions are so far removed from what people living in Wales deal with on a day to day basis. I drive my disabled daughter around to her many hospital and other appointments and can’t get out of third gear in our car with this ridiculous 20 mph limit, this increases pollution and costs to drivers never mind how much the cost of changing the signage costs the limited Welsh budget which might have been better spent on improvement to our struggling Healthcare system. Absolutely ridiculous decision made with little consulting with voters… Read more »

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

That’s cool still not sticking to it though haven’t since day 1, just a scam to force us into congestion charges doesn’t help reduce emissions or accidents and anyone who does a bit of research will not stick to it either

Mel Robinsin
Mel Robinsin
1 month ago

Are we seeing the death nail of labour politics in Wales? As one who has voted labour all my life I think it is very unlikely they will win many seats come the general election. And they deserve to lose big time.

Jonb
Jonb
1 month ago

Well done, let’s start now to enforce it.

Les
Les
1 month ago

Disgusting vote them out they are our voices and they choose not to hear us

Clive
Clive
1 month ago

As a driver trainer of 38 years, delivering from learner drivers to advanced training, classroom based pass plus to CPC to HGV/PVC drivers. I regularly use the Government stats to provide information on my lessons to candidates. It’s not true for the WG to say implementation of the 20mph limit will save 8 – 9 lives. It’s drivers who are speeding in 30mph zones who end up killing or seriously injuring pedestrians, not the 99% of drivers who drive within the 30mph. All they had to do was take away the 10% speedometer error plus 2mph on top which equates… Read more »

John atkinson
John atkinson
1 month ago

Just remember when they next want your vote

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