Transport Secretary Ken Skates has announced that there will be significant changes to the 20mph speed limit policy in Wales. 

His comments indicate a shift in the way the policy will be implemented under the leadership of Vaughan Gething, even though the government remains committed to keeping it in place.

Since September 2023, local authorities in Wales have been required to set speed limits in urban and residential areas at 20mph as a default, although they can still maintain some roads at 30mph. This policy has sparked considerable controversy, with a petition garnering nearly half a million signatures—the highest number ever received for a Senedd petition. Motorists have been driving an average of 4mph slower since the 20mph default speed limit was rolled out.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates emphasized that changes are necessary to ensure that the 20mph zones are targeted appropriately. The focus will be on areas “where children and the elderly are at risk.” Skates acknowledged that there is widespread support for the speed limit in such areas, but it needs to be implemented more effectively. He pledged to work closely with local government, town and community councils, and citizens to achieve this goal.

The Welsh Conservatives have been advocating for changes to the policy, and their efforts appear to be influencing government ministers. While some Conservatives have called for scrapping the overall policy, Skates’ announcement suggests a more nuanced approach. The voice of citizens will be at the heart of decision-making as adjustments are made to the existing speed limit.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates will provide further details on transport priorities in an upcoming statement. He aims to strike a balance between road safety and practicality, ensuring that the 20mph limit is appropriately targeted where it matters most. As Wales continues to grapple with this contentious issue, the government’s commitment to public safety remains paramount.


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