First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford, Rejects Further Speed Limit Changes Amid Ongoing Debate
In the wake of the recent implementation of a default 20mph speed limit in Wales, First Minister Mark Drakeford has unequivocally stated that there are no imminent plans to alter other speed limits across the country. This announcement follows discussions in the aftermath of the new 20mph law, which has generated substantial public discourse.
Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies directly questioned the First Minister regarding the Welsh Government’s intentions concerning speed limits in Wales. In response, Mark Drakeford asserted, “Let me make this absolutely clear to people who may have been misled by information which purports to inform them about plans in Wales but does no such thing. We’re very used in Wales on a single journey [to] moving from a speed limit that might be 40 miles, 50 miles, 60 miles, 70 miles an hour. None of those are changed by this policy, and there are no plans to do so.”
This statement comes on the heels of remarks made by Deputy Climate Change Minister Lee Waters, who mentioned a broader review of speed limits during an interview with the BBC Wales podcast Walescast. Waters emphasised the need to reassess speed limits on various roads in alignment with the transport strategy, explaining, “We know lots of spending is spent on safety schemes which look to deal with accident blackspots by improving the road, widening it, or building flyovers. That’s all very carbon-intensive. The steel and concrete that goes into that has a big impact on our emissions. It also means you simply attract more traffic. If you make the flow easier, more people will drive.”
He further suggested a different approach, saying, “As part of that approach we need to look at a different way of doing it, and actually if there is an accident blackspot rather than saying: ‘Let’s spend £30m over five years on a carbon-intensive road scheme,’ let’s just drop the speed limit. It won’t cost us anything, and we can do that next week, and it’ll save lives. We do want to look at speed limits, but there isn’t some secret plan to be dropping speed limits everywhere.”
The debate surrounding speed limits in Wales continues, with varying viewpoints on how best to balance safety, environmental concerns, and transportation efficiency. Despite ongoing discussions, the First Minister’s assertion stands: there are presently no imminent plans to change speed limits beyond the recently introduced 20mph limit in Wales.