'Absolute nightmare': Fury as Wales introduces fresh 20mph zones - as 100,000 sign petition to reverse scheme

19 September 2023, 06:04 | Updated: 19 September 2023, 08:54

Motorists are furious over the change to speed limits
Motorists are furious over the change to speed limits. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Motorists in Wales are furious after new 20mph zones were introduced in all built-up residential areas, with thousands of people signing a petition to reverse the decision.

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The rollout of the speed limit scheme was slammed by locals as an "absolute nightmare", with signs being vandalised and drivers going at 20mph in 40mph zones.

The Welsh Government introduced the controversial restrictions in a bid to save lives and cut costs for the NHS.

It comes after leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt slammed the decision as "insane", saying the government had "ignored businesses" and "ignored the public".

The change in speed limits has meant altering 30,000 road signs at a cost of £32million.

Welsh Conservatives have said the scheme is "anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist" and vowed to repeal it.

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Wales new 20mph Urban Speed Limit confusion with previous 30mph sign still visible
Wales new 20mph Urban Speed Limit confusion with previous 30mph sign still visible. Picture: Alamy

An official petition calling for the scheme to be reversed has already received more than 100,000 signatures.

The petition says: "The Welsh Government has FAILED to produce ANY convincing evidence to support these claims of safety."

It adds: "YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO US."

Criticising the move, one person tweeted: "This new speed limit in Wales has been an absolute nightmare. Driving at #20mph cars constantly braking, spray paint on signage, people doing 20 in a 40. Make it make sense #ihatedriving #Wales."

Another person said: "The rollout of the 20mph limit in Wales is a joke, all roads that are 30mph are now 20mph except those that are exempt but most roads still have 30mph markers.

"No one has a clue at what speed they should be doing even 40s,50s & nationals..."

A third person tweeted: "The new 20mph thing is Wales is bonkers. Driving at a lower speed is causing higher revs and more emissions. I've seen people also turning corners without the need to brake therefore making it more dangerous as you can judge the car slowing down for the corner."

Others were quick to defend the move, with one person tweeting: "Been in Wales today. I don’t get the anger towards the 20mph zones. If it reduces risks and is better for the community, why are people losing their cool."

A second person said: "Just arrived in Wales (had to drive) and I can confirm that the new 20mph speed limit is absolutely lovely.

"It makes precious little impact to journey times and even allows you to enjoy the beautiful Welsh scenery for longer. Cyclists and pedestrians are safer. Win-win."