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Welsh Government set to announce ‘targeted changes’ to 20mph policy

22 Apr 2024 3 minute read
Cabinet Secretary for Transport – Ken Skates – Image Senedd Cymru

Emily Price

The Cabinet Secretary in charge of transport is expected to announce “targeted changes” to the 20mph policy when he outlines his transport priorities in the Senedd tomorrow (April 23).

Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport Ken Skates says “listening” is his immediate priority on the 20mph default speed limit.

He’s expected to announce a plan to work in partnership with councils to deliver changes to the way in which 20mph roads are implemented.

He will outline next steps in the Oral Statement tomorrow.

The controversial £34m policy was introduced on restricted roads in Wales in September 2023.

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

A record breaking Senedd petition calling for it to be reversed racked up almost half a million signatures following fierce public backlash.

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


But calls have been made for the Welsh Government to alter the guidance councils must follow when they decide which roads should opt out of the 20mph default.

Some councils have been fairly bullish with their approach to road exceptions and have chosen to keep all main roads at 30mph.

However, fears have been raised among some councils that if a road were to be changed back to 30mph and there is a death on that road – a council could be legally liable.

Mr Skates was put in charge of Wales’ transport in march following the election of Vaughan Gething as First Minister.

The minister behind the 20mph policy, Lee Waters, stepped down prior to Easter recess.

The Welsh Conservatives have heavily opposed the change due to its cost.

They promise to scrap the road regulation should they ever come into power.

Natasha Asghar MS, Shadow Transport Minister, said: “Whilst I am waiting with bated breath to hear the Cabinet Secretary outline is transport priorities, I fear all this talk of changes to the government’s flawed 20mph scheme is just another example of Labour ministers paying lip service.

“Ministers might be making all of the right noises on 20mph, but if the Cabinet Secretary is serious about listening to the people of Wales, then he will accept that this law was a terrible mistake and repeal it.

“Only the Welsh Conservatives would scrap this disastrous law and get Wales moving.”

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Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
1 month ago

What started as a drip has turned into a torrent. Almost daily updates concerning the 20 mph policy from the cabinet secretary for North Wales, Transport and Listening. I guess the policy has failed to ‘bed in’.

The dreaded G word was highlighted again. It also has made appearances in regards to Covid policy and second homes. It is quite clever really, a policy is assembled once again from the centre, it is then unleashed on the councils, and then if any aspects are negatively received the government can say ‘well it was only guidance’.

Why vote
Why vote
1 month ago

Labour will not repeal this as it makes them look incompetent there was minimal forward planning no thought to implementation and enforced with fear if you don’t toe the line there will be prosecutions and fines. Of course we all voted for our MS to threaten and force the population in to submission that’s why we voted these ordinary people to power, now they’re in power the dictator within appears. Tinkering around the edges will not help it bed in any better or using the international recommended sniff test. In my area there is a 20mph road that goes from… Read more »

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

Mr Skates is in a ‘politically’ impossible situation. If he addresses the nation and says we got it wrong and I am reversing the decisions made by my predecessor he opens up the government to accusations of spraying money up the wall that could have gone to places such as the Cardiff museum etc and of course it makes them look incompetent like you said.

You also said it will not be repealed, and yes we will get ‘tinkering around the edges’ similar really to what Welsh Labours counterpart in Westminster will do if he wins the next general election.

Steve George
Steve George
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

£9 billion? Have you any facts to back that up?

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