Drivers must adapt to ‘massive culture change’ as 20mph speed limits introduced across Wales says senior councillor

By Richard Evans

DRIVERS will need to adapt to a massive change in culture when default 20mph speed limits are introduced in Wales, a senior councillor has said.

The Welsh Government is bringing in lower limits on most roads that previously had 30mph limits in a move they say will save lives and improve our health.

As part of the change, which comes into force next month, Denbighshire Council is putting up 20mph signs across the county, albeit with stickers currently covering the signs while 30mph remains the limit.

Ahead of the major change, the council’s lead member for highways Cllr Barry Mellor said drivers in the county will face a huge culture shift.

“It will be hard to get used to the speed limit. I’ve been trying on roads around Rhyl to try and keep my car at 20mph. It is hard,” he said.

“It will be a massive change in culture. But I can remember when they brought in the seatbelt law.

“People said that will never happen. But it did. It took a bit of time. It is just something that people will get used to.

“I also think that after six or 12 months Welsh Government will take stock, have a look at how it’s been run, and if it needs changes, they may allow more discretion on the 30mph exception roads. I think they might do that.”

Cllr Mellor said Denbighshire has seven exceptions to the new law agreed by Welsh Government, meaning the roads can remain at 30mph.

These exceptions are only allowed in areas which are not considered to be built up.

Cllr Mellor added: “Welsh Government are saying it will make the road safer and promote walking and cycling.

“What Welsh Government’s take is on it is that even if it drops the speed to 24 or 25mph, it (the law) will still save lives. If it saves one child, this is worth it.”

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