By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

The Welsh Labour Government’s plan to implement a 20mph blanket speed limit is coming into effect from September 17th.

This will move most of Wales’ 30mph speed limits to 20mph, and will cost the taxpayer an estimated £33m - the equivalent to hiring more than 1,200 nurses.

Buckley was one of eight pilot areas across Wales to trial a default 20mph speed limit and during a Senedd debate in June I quoted from the flood of e-mails I have received from residents there, which have included, 'Many of these roads are busy access roads on steep hills. The lorries are struggling to get up the hills in such a low gear, and sticking to such a low speed downhill is hard on the brakes', and 'The so-called default scheme is a mistake, resulting in bad driving, near misses and increased pollution'.

It was revealed last week that Flintshire County Council is set to change all signs on affected roads to 20mph next month – including those due to be exempted from the new regulations.

This is an irresponsible waste of Welsh taxpayer’s money. The exemptions to the changes should be awarded long before the role out of the blanket policy on the 17th September. This underlines the lack of thought and planning going into this ill-thought-out policy by the Labour Government.

I am not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship, high streets or other locations where this is supported by local communities, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous and should be scrapped.

Currently, just 2.5% of Welsh roads have a speed limit of 20mph, but from next month this is expected to increase to approximately 35%, slowing down our roads and slowing down Wales.

I congratulate all those students in North Wales who received their A level and AS level results last week for whatever they achieved and wish them the very best of luck going forward.

Whilst I am pleased there was cause for celebration for many, I was extremely disappointed to see that the results for 2023 in Wales are down on last year, with the proportion of A and A* grades falling to 34% compared to 40.9% in 2022, along with the A* - E pass rate also dropping. With Labour’s shake up in what exams will look like going forward, sadly I fear there will be further disruption going forward for pupils. Standards and performance in Wales need to improve.

For my help, email or call 0300 200 7219.