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Wales reverses some roads to 30mph following backlash against 20mph speed limit

By Mathilda Bartholomew | April 22, 2024

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A petition gathered over 469,000 signatures calling for the removal of the blanket 20mph speed limit.

Wales reverses some roads to 30mph following backlash against 20mph speed limit

In Wales, some roads are going back to a 30mph speed limit after a massive public outcry against the national 20mph limit. Ken Skates, the new transport minister, confirmed that "there will be a change" to the law introduced last September, which reduced the speed limit on most roads.

The previous government, led by Mark Drakeford, implemented the 20mph limit to improve road safety and create safer communities. However, a petition gathered over 469,000 signatures calling for its removal, far exceeding the 10,000 signatures needed for parliamentary consideration.

Skates acknowledged that while there's "generally universal support" for the lower speed limit around schools and residential areas, however "routes that shouldn't have been included were".

He admitted "We've put our hands up to say, 'the guidance has to be corrected',"

"This will enable councils to revert back those routes that are not appropriate. Whether the change will be radical will largely depend on what people want."

"We are working to do this as swiftly as we possibly can," Skates stated, and acknowledged changing the speed limits will be expensive but not "anywhere near the cost of the rollout".

"It is about making sure the application is consistent and we bring back a good degree of unity, whereas currently there is discord."

This decision follows incidents like the illegal removal of a 20mph sign in a Welsh village, sparking serious safety concerns.

Lee Waters, the minister who spearheaded the 20mph rollout, announced his resignation in March, citing abuse on social media as one of the reasons for leaving the platform.

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