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Opinion: campaign to revoke 20mph traffic order

Russell George MS updates us on the campaign to revoke the 20mph speed limit which was introduced last September by the Welsh Government.

1 month ago   2 minutes read   976 views

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By Russell George MS
Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire

This piece was wrriten by Russell George MS (Welsh Conservatives - Montgomeryshire) and is unedited. All About Newtown is not liable for any opinions expressed or contained within.

The Welsh Government’s regulations that change most 30mph speed restrictions to 20mph, came into force in September. There has been huge public reaction, including a petition on the Senedd website, that has led to the largest ever petition to the Senedd with nearly half a million signatures opposing the move.

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I voted against the regulations in July last year to prevent them coming into force, and as Welsh Conservatives, we have vowed to reverse the Welsh Governments 20mph speed limit regulations.

While in some areas a reduced speed limit is appropriate, such as outside schools, and in many cases I have requested a change to 20mph myself, the default 20mph introduction has had overall, a serious negative impact. I firmly believe that the Welsh Government simply needed to make the process much easier for reducing speed limits in areas where there was concern, and where there was community support, rather than bringing forward a blanket policy.

I conducted my own survey by asking the people of Montgomeryshire to rate the Welsh Governments rollout of their default 20mph policy, with 0 being very dissatisfied and 10 being very satisfied.  77% of respondents to my survey rated the rollout as being below 3, meaning that over three-quarters of respondents were dissatisfied with the rollout.

Due to immense pressure, the Welsh Government said that while it “continues to believe that 20 mph is the right speed limit in places such as near schools, hospitals, nurseries, community centres, play areas and in built-up residential areas” it is “pressing ahead with refining the policy”.

The Cabinet Secretary who is now responsible, set out his plans to engage with the public and to achieve “the right speeds on the right roads’’.

The review has now concluded, but I am not satisfied myself that this work considered and represented the views of the whole of Wales. The Welsh Government say that the findings of this report will feed into the development of its 'new exceptions guidance', which will be published in July.

Once this has been published next month, we will have a clearer idea as to what extent changes can and will be made to speed limits in our area.

Russell George MS

Member of the Senedd for Montgomeryshire

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