A NORTH Wales MS has questioned a minister over decisions to award almost £200,000 to English councils to help adapt 20mph speed limits.

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.

Sam Rowlands MS says the fall-out is continuing over the 'disastrous' roll-out of the new speed limits.

Grants were provided to three English border authorities to cover the cost of traffic regulation orders; to supply, install and remove signs and lines; design costs; staff costs and surfacing works, so that 20mph speed limits are consistent through border settlements.

Mr Rowlands, Shadow Minister for Local Government challenged a minister on this. He said: “Recently I challenged the Minister on the nearly £200,000 that the Labour government has awarded to councils in England to adapt to their ludicrous blanket 20mph rollout.

“Meanwhile councils in Wales are struggling financially at the moment, with many having to find significant budget cuts to balance their books, in order to deliver the services that our residents so desperately need."


Mr Rowlands added: "I challenged the Minister on how councils must be feeling when they can see money so desperately needed in Wales being sent to English councils in order to fund a policy that is increasingly unpopular."

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans responded by saying that it was 'only fair' to people driving on those roads which cross the borders between England and Wales to have signage that is appropriate to that road.

Mr Rowlands added: “You really couldn’t make it up. This disastrous roll out is costing our councils dearly.

“I sympathise with Cllr Mark Pritchard, the Leader of Wrexham Council, who quite rightly says that the money from this vanity project would have been better spent on safeguarding local services.

“Without a doubt local authorities could have made better use of this money. We have also heard that the number of people killed or injured on 20mph roads in Bath has risen in most areas.

“Meanwhile the petition opposing the blanket 20mph speed limit keeps on growing and yet Welsh Government prefer to bury their heads in the sand. I think the people of Wales deserve to be treated so much better.”

In response, a Welsh Government spokesperson said: "The Welsh Conservatives are fully aware that this is not a blanket restriction and is continuing to mislead people over the introduction of 20mph.

“The new default speed limit is designed to save lives and make our communities safer for everyone, including motorists. This has been thoroughly researched, debated, and voted on a number of times in the Senedd since it was put forward by a number of Assembly members in 2018, including Conservative members.

"There has been extensive consultation and it has been trialled in communities across Wales.”