Skip advert
Advertisement

Labour to U-turn on 20mph speed limit in Wales after harsh criticism

Wales’ Transport Secretary, Ken Skates says Labour will reverse its blanket 20mph rules “as soon as we can”

20mph zone road sign

Welsh Labour has U-turned on its decision to implement blanket 20mph speed limits in Wales, after a petition against the controversial policy gained almost half a million signatures.

In an interview with North Wales Live, Welsh Transport Secretary, Ken Skates, said that 20mph speed limits should remain in place in “appropriate” areas, such as near schools, nurseries and hospitals. However, he admitted that, “in many areas, routes that shouldn't have been included, were.”

Advertisement - Article continues below

New guidance, set to be announced on Tuesday, will give local authorities the power to decide for themselves whether to implement 20mph speed limits, with Skates suggesting that he foresees “relatively few changes” in some areas of the country, with “quite a lot more” in others.

“We've put our hands up to say 'the guidance has to be corrected'.” He said, “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.”

The Welsh government voted for a nation-wide 20mph default speed limit all the way back in 2022, although implementation only began from September 2023, at a cost of £34 million. Many areas have already installed the necessary signage, however, Skates reassured councils and constituents that he wants to resolve the issue “as soon as we can”, and that the cost to revert signage back to 30mph would be covered by the Welsh government.

Since its inception, Wales’ 20mph speed limit rule has been a controversial one; while there has been some support – namely from some local communities and groups representing cyclists – towards the end of last year, UK PM Rishi Sunak revealed the Conservative Party’s ‘Plan for Drivers’, which promises guidance designed to prevent the implementation of blanket 20mph speed limits by local councils.

Skates iterated that he wants the new guidance in Wales to put the decisions back into the hands of the public, saying: “I don't want to impose the changes, I want people to identify those routes to change so that at the end of the day we have a policy a vast majority of people can support, which not just makes roads safer but makes people feel safer on them as well.”

Are you a fan of 20mph zones? Tell us your thoughts on the reversal in the comments section below...

Skip advert
Advertisement
Consumer reporter

Tom is Auto Express' Consumer reporter, meaning he spends his time investigating the stories that matter to all motorists - enthusiasts or otherwise. An ex-BBC journalist and Multimedia Journalism graduate, Tom previously wrote for partner sites Carbuyer and DrivingElectric and you may also spot him throwing away his dignity by filming videos for the Auto Express social media channels.

Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

When is a pothole not a pothole? Inconsistent council repair policies make bad situation worse
Pothole sign
News

When is a pothole not a pothole? Inconsistent council repair policies make bad situation worse

A new TV documentary shows how different councils operate on different parameters when it comes to deciding whether to fix a pothole
22 May 2024
UK self-driving car “revolution” incoming: new law allows autonomous vehicles by 2026
Tesla Model Y - interior
News

UK self-driving car “revolution” incoming: new law allows autonomous vehicles by 2026

A new law is set to bring self-driving cars to UK roads in two years and puts responsibility in the hands of manufacturers if there is an accident
20 May 2024
New EV grant brings £5k electric car discount… but only if you’re an Uber driver
Electric car hooked up to chargepoint
News

New EV grant brings £5k electric car discount… but only if you’re an Uber driver

Uber drivers in London can now save up to £22,000 off the price of a new EV as part of the firm’s push for electrification
20 May 2024
Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app
Octopus Energy’s Electroverse
News

Cheap EV charging comes to public chargepoints via new ‘Plunge Pricing’ app

Octopus’ ‘Plunge Pricing’ events promise to save electric car drivers an average of £6.50 per charge
17 May 2024

Most Popular

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range
Kia EV3 - front
News

New Kia EV3 is a £30k electric car with a 372-mile range

Kia expands its electric line up with the EV3 – taking plenty of inspiration from the flagship EV9
23 May 2024
Renault Scenic review
Renault Scenic UK - front
In-depth reviews

Renault Scenic review

The Renault Scenic takes a pragmatic and polished approach to zero-emissions motoring
21 May 2024
Citroen C3 review
Citroen e-C3 - front
In-depth reviews

Citroen C3 review

A clever rethink of the small, affordable car theme, the C3 and its all-electric e-C3 twin have the potential to really shake up the market
22 May 2024