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Residents encouraged to contact their council over changes to 20mph

A 20mph speed limit sign (Pic: Caerphilly County Borough Council)

COUNCILS will play a central role in any changes to 20mph speed limits on Welsh roads, the Senedd Member for Caerphilly has said.

Hefin David believes the reforms the Welsh Government announced this week will help with “connecting residents with the council, so that amendments can be made where there is a clear demand”.

This will benefit “people who live near areas where 20mph doesn’t seem to work”, he told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Hefin David Ms Senedd Cymru (Pic: Senedd Cymru)

Wales’ new transport secretary, Ken Skates, announced this week the 20mph policy introduced as default last September would instead be tailored to target roads around schools, hospitals, children’s areas and built-up residential neighbourhoods.

Labour MS Dr David said the new system will allow for speed limits which reflect the wishes of locals and will give councils more confidence to make changes.

He has previously lamented the limited ability of councils to bring in exemptions to 20mph.

Earlier this week, Dr David wrote, in an opinion piece in Nation.Cymru, that the “policy isn’t working as it should” because council officers were resistant to going against the government’s guidance.

Writing in Nation.Cymru, Dr David said he had requested changes, only for officers to reportedly tell senior councillors “it would be risky to alter speeds as it would be contrary to the guidance”.

The LDRS put those comments to Caerphilly Council.

In response, a spokesman for the local authority said the 20mph legislation had been “implemented in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines, and the situation will continue to be monitored and reviewed as appropriate”.

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Following Mr Skates’ announcement that the government would be changing course on 20mph, Dr David told the LDRS the plan was to “work in partnership with local authorities to prepare the ground for change”.

Ministers would embark on a “listening programme” and “encourage people to get in touch with their local council to tell them where they think 20mph should be targeted”.

Dr David said the government will also “work with town and community councils to make sure their voices are a part of this national conversation”.

Information on how people can have their say on speed limit changes will be made available on the Welsh Government website, he added.