Councils should ‘listen to locals’ over plans to introduce a blanket 20mph speed limit in their towns, an MS has said.

Sam Rowlands, MS for North Wales and Shadow Minister for Local Government in the Welsh Parliament, who recently supported campaigners in Buckley fighting against this introduction, said councils were responsible for providing local services not Welsh Government.

Mr Rowlands was commenting after Monmouthshire County Council, which along with Buckley was one of the eight places in Wales to trial the new limit, said they planned to reverse the 20mph to 30mph on some roads due to complaints from the public.

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The new default speed limit to 20mph, which is due to be implemented in September 2023, will affect 30mph roads with street lights fewer than 200 yards apart but this can be overturned by local authorities.

Mr Rowlands said: “The trial certainly caused a lot of problems for people living in Buckley and I voted against it being fully implemented, however, the Welsh Labour Government refused to listen.

“I do support letting councils put 20mph speed limits outside schools, hospitals and other areas where evidence shows it’s a benefit, but a blanket 20mph speed limit across urban roads in Wales has caused real anger across communities and is just not right.

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“Welsh Government claim the new speed limit of 20mph on our roads will cut pollution but this is disputed by experts.

“Professor Paul Lewis, of Swansea University's medical school, who is Director of the Centre for Health and Environmental Management Research and Innovation, says: "There are some small likely benefits to vehicles driving at 20mph, relative to higher speeds, in that the tiny particulates (PM2.5 and PM10) that come from brake dust and tyre wear is reduced as people brake less than they would at higher speeds. There is still a lack of evidence as to the exact amount of reduction in air pollution though".

“It is ironic that Labour run Monmouthshire County Council now want to reverse some of the roads back to 30mph and are actually listening to what local people have to say, unlike the Welsh Labour Government.

“I would now urge all authorities to take the same stance and listen to the locals and make the decisions which affect their residents.”

READ MORE: Petition against 20mph speed limit for Wales' residential roads nears 40k signatures

Monmouthshire County Council said it had made the decision to propose a reversal of some of the roads back to 30mph in some parts to “address some of the community concerns raised while balancing this with the benefits of reducing speed limits”.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The new legislation will not apply a blanket speed limit on all roads, it will simply make the default limit 20mph.

"The phase one schemes have been designed to test the processes we will need to put in place for the national rollout in 2023.”