Lee Waters has told a scrutiny committee at the Senedd that his meeting with council leaders to discuss the 20mph limits across Wales was very positive.
Answering questions from members of the Climate Change Environment and Infrastructure Committee the Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters MS said that he was told by council leaders that they had noticed that complaints had reduced and tailed off. He said that there were ‘issues of vandalism’ which was of concern.
He said: “Complaints had reduced and tailed off which is certainly been our experience. There have been issues of vandalism which is a concern and we’ve agreed to work with them (local authorities) to address that. There are some concerns about some anomalies locally which we said we don’t think needs to wait. Officers are Keen the changes are given a year to bed in and I think that’s generally sensible however where there are clear examples where with the benefit of hindsight roads were reduced to 20 and there’s a feeling that maybe it was a mistake there’s no reason why we should wait a year to put those mistakes right.”
The Deputy Minister for Climate Change said that there has to be a local traffic regulation past and that can take anywhere between 11 weeks and 11 months depending on the local authorities committee cycle and appetite to move it. He said he would expect these to be small in number but and that there was no reason to to wait for that.
Asked what the many lessons he had learned from implementing the changes to speed limits the Deputy Minister said: “One of the key lessons we learned from the pilots was the importance of consultation and engagement in advance of the change being made and for various reasons I don’t think that has been as full as we would have liked.”
He said that Welsh Government completely understood the pressure local authorities are under but knew that was going to be the case and that has proven to be the case having raised this with local authorities a number of times in advance.
‘Helping local authorities to get consultation right was probably the main lesson’, he said.