Wrexham's Member of Parliament has urged the new First Minister to ditch the Welsh Government’s 20mph policy.

On Saturday (March 16) Vaughan Gething was announced as the new Welsh Labour leader, replacing Mark Drakeford.

Ahead of the announcement over the weekend, Wrexham's MP Sarah Atherton wrote to both Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles, calling on them to repeal the Welsh Government’s 20mph policy.

In her letter, Wrexham’s Member of Parliament commented on the cost of implementing the policy, estimated to be within the region of £32 million, in addition to the cost to the Welsh economy, which is forecasted to be around £4.5 billion.

Earlier this year, Welsh Government confirmed a review is set to take place into the 20mph speed limit. 

The Leader: Sarah Atherton.Sarah Atherton.

Ms Atherton has been a vocal opponent of the new default speed limit since the policy’s conception.

Wrexham’s MP has also met with the Chief Executive at Wrexham Council to advocate for exemptions to be proportionately applied to roads with a reduced speed limit.

However, the local authority is refusing to take any further action until a new First Minister is in office.

Although Ms Atherton has maintained that a 20mph speed limit is appropriate around areas such as schools and hospitals, she has argued that the record-breaking petition calling on the Welsh Government to rescind the 20mph policy – which has attracted almost 470,000 signatures – cannot be ignored by Ministers in Cardiff Bay.

Sarah Atherton MP said: “This weekend provides a new opportunity for Welsh Labour to accept ownership of its mistakes and commit to undoing the damage that has been done as a result of its blanket 20mph policy.


“While both leadership candidates supported and voted in favour of the 20mph policy, the Welsh Government cannot continue covering its ears and ignoring the collective voice of the people of Wales, hoping that the noise will disappear.

“No longer can my constituents afford a Welsh Labour Government which prioritises a ruinously expensive and unpopular 20mph policy at the expense of elderly patients languishing in the back of ambulances; our roads left in a state of disrepair and our schools oversubscribed.

“The people of Wales deserve a leader who puts their priorities ahead of vanity projects, and that includes the 20mph default speed limit.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The introduction of a 20mph speed limit in mainly residential areas is designed to save lives and make our communities safer for everyone, including motorists. It has been thoroughly researched, voted on in the Senedd and received the backing from a majority of Senedd Members.”