Mike Parry fumes over speed limits on GB News
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From September 17, 2023, drivers will see speed limits on most restricted roads in Wales being cut from 30mph to 20mph. Wales will be one of the first countries in the world and the first nation in the UK to introduce legislation to have a 20mph speed limit on roads where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.
Restricted roads include street lights placed no more than 200 yards apart. They are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity.
It is estimated that these changes will apply to 35 percent of roads in Wales.
The Senedd passed The Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022 legislation earlier this year.
The Welsh Government highlighted that not all roads currently at 30mph will be suitable to change to 20mph, with these roads being known as exceptions.
It is hoped these changes will result in a number of benefits including a reduction in road collisions, more opportunities to walk and cycle and safeguarding the environment for future generations.
The Welsh 20mph Task Force Group was formed in May 2019 on the direction of Lee Waters, the then Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport.
Eight communities were selected for the first phase of the 20mph national programme and introduced the slower speed limits from July 2021 until May 2022.
The Government ran a consultation between July and September 2021 and found that 53 percent of respondents said they were against the 20mph speed limit.
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Drivers should always aim to keep a two to three-second brake distance between themselves and the vehicle directly in front of them.
It is estimated that it will cost £33million to introduce the 20mph speed limits in Wales, although ministers claim that the national will save £58million over 30 years.
This is because of reduced demand for emergency services and fewer people requiring hospital treatment.
According to Government analysis, anywhere between 40 and 440 lives could be saved over 30 years, with roads boosting safety for pedestrians and cyclists.
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Lee Walters, Deputy Minister for Climate Change and MS for Llanelli, responded recently to frustration from drivers that commutes would take longer.
He said: “The idea that being a minute later to get to school harms the economy, I just don’t believe it.
“So I think the figures are discredited in my view and there’s a movement to change that.
“Also it’s going to save lives – we know it’s going to save lives,” the BBC reported.
Journeys are expected to be less than a minute longer on average, with the vast majority affected by less than two minutes.
Some Welsh Conservatives said the new speed limits should be made at the discretion of individual councils, but should always be in place outside schools and playgrounds.
Mr Walters said the new rules would be a “big change” initially, but said people would get used to it, likening the change to when seatbelts were introduced.
When driving at 30mph, the average stopping distance is around 23 metres, including nine metres of thinking distance and 14 metres of actual braking.
However, when travelling at 20mph, the stopping distance is almost cut in half, with six metres of both thinking and braking distance.
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