By Sam Rowlands

MS for North Wales

This month, the Welsh Labour Government, along with their Co-operation Agreement partners in Plaid Cymru, have voted to introduce a 20 mph urban speed limit across Wales. This will see Wales become the only nation in the world to adopt a 20 mph default speed limit on residential streets.

It’s important to note that many people, including myself, do support 20 mph speed limits where there is clear evidence of it being necessary and appropriate, such as outside schools, hospitals, and heavily pedestrianised areas. But a blanket approach, especially on main artery roads, seems a stretch too far.

Nevertheless, the Welsh Government have been trialling the introduction of a 20 mph scheme in Buckley in North Wales, and I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with residents and local representatives who have been subject to this.

Residents have told me, that in their eyes, this 20 mph speed limit trial has led to them experiencing more pollution, more accidents, and more delays. Despite this, it is apparent that the Welsh Government has no plans to listen to these concerns and consult with people in North Wales, and this has led to real anger in local communities.

Along with this, it’s clear that a blanket 20 mph scheme does not appreciate the needs of many rural areas. If the idea of this is to encourage more people to walk and cycle, this just isn’t a reality for getting from A to B in rural Wales. A 20 mph scheme won't allow ordinary people to get on with their normal activities at the same rate, such as getting to work, or dropping the kids off at school. People will be spending more time in their car, rather than getting on with what they need to do.

A 20 mph urban speed limit across Wales is a backward step in how we go about our daily lives; the Welsh Government should focus on the job at hand – not waste £33 million on this blanket scheme.

Please feel free to contact me by emailing or calling on 0300 200 7267.