Wales politics

20mph limit plan for all residential areas, says Mark Drakeford

20mph sign Image copyright PA
Image caption Power to set national speed limits was devolved to Wales last year

Speed limits of 20mph could be introduced in all residential areas in Wales, the first minister has told AMs.

Mark Drakeford said ministers had "provided hundreds of millions of pounds for small area 20mph zones".

"What we now want to do is to go beyond that," he announced.

In June 2018, campaigners said Wales was lagging behind the rest of the UK when it came to reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph in built-up areas.

During Tuesday's First Minister's Questions, Mr Drakeford responded to Conservative AM David Melding, who was caught off-guard by the positive response to his question.

South Wales Central AM Mr Melding asked: "What is the Welsh Government's view on the use of 20mph zones in Wales?"

The first minister replied: "The Welsh Government believe that 20mph should be the default speed limit for residential areas."

To laughs from fellow AMs in the chamber, Mr Melding said: "Can I congratulate the first minister for making my supplementary utterly redundant?"

Image caption Mark Drakeford said 20mph zones particularly reduce accidents involving children

Mr Drakeford said Cardiff was a good example of what can be done.

"Local authorities have to have discretion to retain 30mph zones on key arterial routes, but outside that, and in residential areas, we know that 20mph zones reduce speed of traffic, reduce accidents - particularly accidents to children, and we want to see that become the default position right across Wales," he said.

Labour AM John Griffiths said there was cross-party support for a policy he felt had many benefits for society.

"Older people will feel happier if they're able to walk along the streets with 20mph limits in place and parents will feel much happier in enabling their young people to play outside," he said.

"It will enable active travel - walking and cycling - to a greater extent, so it has very, very many benefits, and I'm pleased that they're now strongly recognised by Welsh Government."

The power to set national speed limits was devolved to Wales last year.

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