THE MINISTER responsible for the change of speed limit in Wales has addressed the widely-supported petition opposing it in the Senedd.

As of September 17, the majority of residential roads throughout the country changed from 30mph to 20mph.

The change has been met by anger and frustration with a petition opposing it collecting over 460,000 signatures to date - making it the most signed petition in Senedd history.

The Welsh Government's deputy minister for climate change and the man responsible for the change, Lee Waters, faced a no confidence vote last week, as a result.

However, that Welsh Conservative motion eventually failed with 16 votes in favour and 42 against.

On that same day, Mr Waters issued an update on the speed limit change and addressed the petition which continues to gather signatures.

Speaking in the Senedd on September 27, he said: "I recognise the strength of feeling there is against the change in the speed limit. The number of people who have signed the Senedd petition speaks for itself and we certainly take it seriously.

"I understand that lots of people are angry and frustrated and my message to the more than 400,000 people who have signed this petition is simple; We are listening to what you're saying."


Mr Waters added: "We understand that not everybody likes this and we are willing to be flexible in how this is implemented in your local community. 

"This is the biggest change in the rules of the road since wearing seatbelts became compulsory in 1983. That too was highly controversial and strongly resisted.

"Many people found it hard to adjust but it became accepted and nobody has suggested we should go back.

"On streets where people and traffic mix, the evidence is very clear that 20 saves lives and cuts casualties. I'm very pleased that the early and emerging traffic data from the first week signals that people are supporting the change by slowing down.

"The data so far shows that the average delay to every journey time is less than one minute as we expected. They say it takes 28 days to change a habit, so we need to give this time."

Mr Waters added that the first set of post-implementation speed data will be published in January.

By the summer, the Welsh Government will publish the first detailed results for the first six months of the limit being in force. Then, there will be further formal monitoring on an annual basis for the next five years.

Mr Waters added: "I want to place on record my thanks to everyone in Wales who is doing their bit to help make our communities safer.

"Speeds are already down. And as a result we expect to see fewer accidents, fewer casualties, fewer deaths. A little bit slower, Llywydd, but a whole lot better."