Wales is ‘lagging behind’ the rest of the UK when it comes to reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas, according to campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us. (BBC News)
Cardiff is the only council to introduce the reduced speed limit in most of its residential streets, compared with more than 50 local authorities in England.
20’s Plenty for Us is calling on the Welsh Government to use new powers to enforce a lower speed limit.
However, the Welsh Government told BBC News that research about the impact of reducing national speed limits ‘remains inconclusive’.
Councils have the responsibility for setting local speed limits – but most in Wales have only brought in 20mph zones directly outside schools.
20’s Plenty for Us says it is supporting 400 local groups who want the limit on their residential streets cut from 30mph to 20mph.
That includes a group in Sully, Vale of Glamorgan, where campaigners say they are unable to walk around their village because so many cars travel at ‘crazy speeds’.
Kaarine Ruta, part of the Sully campaign, said: “We really don’t feel safe and we asked police about having a fixed speed camera but we were told that wasn’t a possibility until someone was killed – and quite frankly we don’t want to wait for that to happen.”
Rod King, founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, told BBC News: “In England it’s happening in so many places – Inner London, Oxford, Cambridge, Bristol, Bath, Warrington… There are also lots of places in Scotland too.
“I’m not really sure why Wales is so behind on this. But there’s support for it and there’s now a great opportunity for Wales to catch up as the Welsh Government has the power to implement this nationally.
“It would mean they could introduce a default 20mph national speed limit and then it would be up to local councils to say which roads in their area should have a higher limit. Welsh AMs are responding very positively to the idea.”
A spokesman for the Welsh Government said: “We are continuing to consider research in this area and are working closely with the Department for Transport who have commissioned a three year research project to consider the benefits of lowering speed limits in 30mph zones.”