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Pembrokeshire council leader calls for delay in introducing 20mph speed limits

20mph sign (pic: Pembrokeshire County Council)

PEMBROKESHIRE’S council leader had called for imminent 20mph limits in Wales to be potentially delayed due to costs during a time of unprecedented financial challenges.

The Welsh Government passed legislation last July which will see the speed limit on residential, built-up streets reduced from 30mph to 20 throughout Wales from September 17.

Welsh Government says the 20mph default speed limit is expected to result in 40 per cent fewer road collisions, save six to 10 lives every year and avoid 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.

During discussions on the council’s ongoing budget pressures, Council leader David Simpson told fellow members of the council’s Cabinet, meeting on September 4, that he had raised the issue with Welsh Government representatives.

Council Leader David Simpson (Pic: Pembrokeshire County Council)

At that meeting, members had backed emergency measures – including a moratorium on non-essential council expenditure – to reduce an expected county council budget shortfall of £4.8m by the end of the financial year.

Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance Cllr Alec Cormack said setting the 2023-‘24 budget had proved difficult, but was partly offset by a better-than-expected settlement from Welsh Government, which is not expected to be matched in future years due to it “facing the toughest financial situation since devolution”.

A call was made at the meeting for Welsh Government to “take their share of the pain”.

Council Leader David Simpson said he had been “very vocal” in meetings with Welsh Government representatives over potential cost savings, “asking them to put on hold the 20mph scheme and the extension in the number of members of the Senedd they are plodding ahead on”.

“The 20mph is still going ahead and I imagine the Senedd members is still going ahead,” he added.

Last month, Pembrokeshire County Council agreed 27 areas of the local road network would remain as 30mph limits by ‘exception’.