A Welsh Assembly member has called for the country’s default speed limit to be lowered from 30mph to 20mph in towns and cities.
Reported by BBC News, John Griffiths AM – the Welsh Government’s former environment minister – says the move would involve ‘very little expense’ but would ‘have great benefits for health, the environment and traffic flow’.
Councils in Wales have the responsibility for setting local speed limits – however, the BBC News report says most have only introduced 20mph zones directly outside schools.
Mr Griffiths’ proposal would mean the speed limit would automatically be set at 20mph, unless councils have a specific reason to raise it.
Mr Griffiths told BBC News: “We are talking about protecting life and limb, reclaiming the streets for children to play and for adults and children to walk and cycle to work and school.
“You will get better traffic flow through these urban areas which means, counter-intuitively, motorists will get through these areas quicker than they do at the moment. Emissions will be reduced because it will be a smoother passage through, rather than a lot of accelerating and braking.”
Mr Griffiths added that ‘community cohesion’ would benefit from 20mph zones – as a result of more people ‘out and about in the streets with their children and families’.
The Welsh Government is currently conducting a review on speed limits, and Mr Griffiths delivered a presentation on 20mph limits in the National Assembly of Wales on 18 July – click here to watch the presentation on Senedd.tv (approx 4hrs 50mins into the session), followed by a response from Ken Skates, the Welsh Government’s cabinet secretary for economy and transport.