Posted: Tue 23rd Apr 2024

Welsh Government ‘will listen to the people of Wales’ as it revisits 20mph speed limit policy

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport Ken Skates has said he is keen to ‘take the heat out some of the contentious issues that we face at the moment’, including it seems, the recent 20MPH law roll out.

There has been indications from Welsh Government that a change in how the new 20 MPH will be applied is imminent, however the law itself appears unlikely to be altered.

Mr Skates, will outline his transport priorities, including plans for 20 mph, in the Senedd today.

“Listening is the immediate priority for the Cabinet Secretary on 20mph. He will say the Welsh Government will listen to the people of Wales and work in partnership with councils to deliver targeted change to the 20mph implementation.” The Welsh Government said in a press release.

Natasha Asghar MS, Shadow Transport Minister, said:

 “Whilst I am waiting with bated breath to hear the Cabinet Secretary outline his 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.”

The 20 MPH issue has been contentious, with Flintshire seeing just a handful of roads made exempt from the 20mph limit. This is in contrast to more than 150 in Swansea and 85 in Gwynedd.

Our sister site Wrexham.com asked Mr Skates if the previous messaging from Welsh Government that councils were effectively to blame for not making more exemptions in line with the guidance and queried where the actual problem was.

He said, “I think the problem lies in the guidance and in terms of applying the guidance, that was inconsistent across Wales.

“But, equally I totally appreciate that a lot of councils were concerned about liability when it comes when it came to making early exemptions. We’re steadily getting lists of routes for submission for review.

“Alot of the routes that I’ve seen in Wrexham make perfect sense for review, and for potentially reverting back to 30 miles an hour.

“I really want to reach a point where there’s consensus on this issue as well. That’s why we’re embarking on this program of listening. Local authorities, I’ve spoken with every single one now across Wales, and they’re determined to do that with us.

We’re determined to implement change with citizens, not to citizens. I think actually the vast majority of people including nearly half million people who signed the petition would agree that 20 miles an hour outside schools, in built up areas, housing estates, by hospitals and so forth makes sense – but there have been mistakes in other areas.

“We need to target 20 miles an hour to ensure that it’s getting the best possible results in terms of safety, whilst also ensuring that people support it, because the support for the policies one of the key determining factors of whether it’s actually going to work and motorists are actually going to reduce speed.”

Any changes will be yet another bountiful time for some – not all – print publications in Wales, with several hundred thousand pounds of public money spent to ‘inform’ the public via statutory notices in the back of newspapers which are seeing ongoing drops in circulations. This sum does not include the £800k+ paid promotion campaign advertising on Facebook / TV / etc by Welsh Government for the 20MPH rollout.

The overall cost for the introduction of the 20MPH speed limit has been put at £32,000,000.

 

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