Default 20mph for Wales

AllRides
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by AllRides »

slowster wrote: 20 Apr 2024, 4:49pm
I may be wrong, but it looks like this may be more a political ploy than a major change in policy. I suspect the intention is to defuse this issue as a political problem for the Welsh Labour party at national level, by turning it into a local political problem for mayors and councillors.

Devolving these decisions to local level puts mayors and councillors in the hot seat. I suspect that in many wards a majority of residents (AKA voters) will want to keep the new 20mph limits where they live. A lot of the people who drive through a particular 20mph zone and want that particular limit raised, will not be local voters, and instead only pass through the ward/area as part of their commute etc.

Those who signed the national petition and think they have won, may be about to discover that 'all politics is local'.
This is spot on: councils have always had the power to make changes and were encouraged to do so prior. Some did and some didn’t - actually pretty much reflected in the kickback.

So it sounds like they will be formally told ‘look, we’ve tweaked the guidance, and you can do a big bulk change’. Councils will consult with councillors and none will be brave enough to make significant changes for fear of punishment at the local elections. A few tweaks at the edges of longer 20 zones maybe, mostly in North Wales.

Anti-20 lot will be unhappy, pro-20 lot will be unhappy. Best case for Labour is that the problem moves to local councils. Meanwhile the issue is given even more news cycles, not sure that’s what Labour wanted when trying to put clear blue water between them and the last administration.

As long as the default limit stays at 20 (and eventually gets enforced) then the likelihood is most of the benefit will still be maintained.
ratherbeintobago
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by ratherbeintobago »

There's a long discussion on this on another cycling forum, and it seems to have split into two camps - the majority (including those who seem to have actually experienced it) who seem to be in favour, and a noisy minority who seem to be largely talking testes.

I suspect as with LTNs/CAZ etc this reflects the reality - most people quietly supportive (or at worst don't care), noisy minority disproportionately represented on SoMe oppose. I don't really get why progressive politicians are afraid of the antis, who I strongly suspect will vote Tory/Reform anyway, and there's increasing evidence that holding nerve on this doesn't result in electoral harm anyway.

As always, I'd strongly urge anyone who supports stuff like this to get involved (even if it's peripherally) in your local Active Travel group.
Pete Owens
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Pete Owens »

I'm with the glass half full brigade here.

I think it is unfortunate that the minister is sounding off appearing to be on the anti side - rather than riding through the backlash which will subside now the limits are in place.

It has always been the case that speed limits are decided locally, and it was always likely that there would be some tidying up with a small number of roads reverting to 30mph - just as there was in the Scottish Borders and in some of the pilot areas. So long as 20mph remains the default then campaigners for higher speeds will be in the same position as those campaigning for 20mph: Having to justify the the case street by street.
ratherbeintobago
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by ratherbeintobago »

Aye, and given the state of council budgets, if the default is 20, they’re not going to go to the cost and trouble (presumably including consultation etc) of wholesale reversion to 30?
pwa
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by pwa »

Pete Owens wrote: 22 Apr 2024, 4:32pm I'm with the glass half full brigade here.

I think it is unfortunate that the minister is sounding off appearing to be on the anti side - rather than riding through the backlash which will subside now the limits are in place.

It has always been the case that speed limits are decided locally, and it was always likely that there would be some tidying up with a small number of roads reverting to 30mph - just as there was in the Scottish Borders and in some of the pilot areas. So long as 20mph remains the default then campaigners for higher speeds will be in the same position as those campaigning for 20mph: Having to justify the the case street by street.
I think that after six months of braving it out, their nerve has cracked. I am hoping that what we will see, on the ground, is a few hundred metres of the more contentious bits of 20mph road here and there reverting back to 30, with the bulk of the new 20s left in place.
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Pinhead
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Pinhead »

AUTISTIC and proud
Psamathe
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Psamathe »

Just seen BBC News and drivers commenting eg
● "Difficult to drive at 20" - If a driver can't drive at 20 should they be driving atall? Do they speed past school & hospital 20 limits because 20 it's too hard driving at 20?
● "Confusing as speed limit changes" - roads are always changing requiring attention. Do these complaining drivers think "ooops, that pedestrian wasn't there yesterday". Or go charging through roadworks as a changed speed limit just confuses them!

Either some drivers are contriving mad reasons or standards of driving are just "poor" (making 5 mph more appropriate).

Ian
Jdsk
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Jdsk »

The Welsh Government has announced details of its review into the default 20mph speed limit. The minister with responsibility for transport, Ken Skates, has announced a “three stage” plan which he says will see some roads across Wales change back from 20mph to 30mph, however, it does not involve a reversal of the controversial policy, or any expectation of a large number of roads reverting to 30mph.
https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wale ... t-29042691

Jonathan
pwa
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by pwa »

Psamathe wrote: 23 Apr 2024, 6:22pm Just seen BBC News and drivers commenting eg
● "Difficult to drive at 20" - If a driver can't drive at 20 should they be driving atall? Do they speed past school & hospital 20 limits because 20 it's too hard driving at 20?
● "Confusing as speed limit changes" - roads are always changing requiring attention. Do these complaining drivers think "ooops, that pedestrian wasn't there yesterday". Or go charging through roadworks as a changed speed limit just confuses them!

Either some drivers are contriving mad reasons or standards of driving are just "poor" (making 5 mph more appropriate).

Ian
Some of the speed limit changes are a bit confusing, and easy to miss if you have to focus on something else at the crucial moment when you might see the sign you need to see. My own reaction to being unsure is to look at the side roads when I near junctions. If they are clearly going to be 20mph streets but lack a sign at the start, I must already be in a 20 limit. If they have a 20 sign at the start, I can't already be in a 20. So in practice, there is no reason to be confused for very long.
reohn2
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by reohn2 »

pwa wrote: 23 Apr 2024, 8:21pm
Psamathe wrote: 23 Apr 2024, 6:22pm Just seen BBC News and drivers commenting eg
● "Difficult to drive at 20" - If a driver can't drive at 20 should they be driving atall? Do they speed past school & hospital 20 limits because 20 it's too hard driving at 20?
● "Confusing as speed limit changes" - roads are always changing requiring attention. Do these complaining drivers think "ooops, that pedestrian wasn't there yesterday". Or go charging through roadworks as a changed speed limit just confuses them!

Either some drivers are contriving mad reasons or standards of driving are just "poor" (making 5 mph more appropriate).

Ian
Some of the speed limit changes are a bit confusing, and easy to miss if you have to focus on something else at the crucial moment when you might see the sign you need to see. My own reaction to being unsure is to look at the side roads when I near junctions. If they are clearly going to be 20mph streets but lack a sign at the start, I must already be in a 20 limit. If they have a 20 sign at the start, I can't already be in a 20. So in practice, there is no reason to be confused for very long.
That's a good indication but drivers should be left in no doubt what the speed limit is,repeater roundels,and speed limits painted on the road along with humps in appropriate places.
The excuses given as quoted by BBC news are just that,it's just a matter of adjustment that some just don't want to make.
I have no difficulty keeping to the new limits either on a rather large and powerful motorcycle or in my car so I can't see how others can't.
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pwa
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by pwa »

On the Brackla housing estate in Bridgend, nearly everything is 20mph, but the two main circulatory roads have some 30mph sections. And three variable sections beside schools, where electronic signs light up as either 20 or 30 depending on the time of day or the day of the week. I'm used to that on motorways, but on urban streets it is new to me.
reohn2
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by reohn2 »

pwa wrote: 24 Apr 2024, 9:01am On the Brackla housing estate in Bridgend, nearly everything is 20mph, but the two main circulatory roads have some 30mph sections. And three variable sections beside schools, where electronic signs light up as either 20 or 30 depending on the time of day or the day of the week. I'm used to that on motorways, but on urban streets it is new to me.
Variable speed limits on urban roads doesn't sound like a good idea to me,though I don't know the area so can't really comment
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pwa
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by pwa »

reohn2 wrote: 24 Apr 2024, 9:23am
pwa wrote: 24 Apr 2024, 9:01am On the Brackla housing estate in Bridgend, nearly everything is 20mph, but the two main circulatory roads have some 30mph sections. And three variable sections beside schools, where electronic signs light up as either 20 or 30 depending on the time of day or the day of the week. I'm used to that on motorways, but on urban streets it is new to me.
Variable speed limits on urban roads doesn't sound like a good idea to me,though I don't know the area so can't really comment
Picture a modern (1980s+) housing estate where very few homes front onto the circulatory roads. But three schools do. Schools dictate 20mph, but of course schools don't operate at 7pm or at weekends, so that is where variable comes in....

This pic was taken before the changes, but it is now one of the 20/30 variable sections.
https://www.google.com/maps/@51.5116292 ... ?entry=ttu
Jdsk
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Jdsk »

pwa wrote: 23 Apr 2024, 8:21pm ...
Some of the speed limit changes are a bit confusing, and easy to miss if you have to focus on something else at the crucial moment when you might see the sign you need to see. My own reaction to being unsure is to look at the side roads when I near junctions. If they are clearly going to be 20mph streets but lack a sign at the start, I must already be in a 20 limit. If they have a 20 sign at the start, I can't already be in a 20. So in practice, there is no reason to be confused for very long.
Yes. I'm sometimes not sure.

One of the advantages of the approach in Wales is the greater consistency and I expect that to help with this.

Jonathan
Psamathe
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Re: Default 20mph for Wales

Post by Psamathe »

pwa wrote: 24 Apr 2024, 9:01am On the Brackla housing estate in Bridgend, nearly everything is 20mph, but the two main circulatory roads have some 30mph sections. And three variable sections beside schools, where electronic signs light up as either 20 or 30 depending on the time of day or the day of the week. I'm used to that on motorways, but on urban streets it is new to me.
I thought most of those flashing light school signs were advisory rather than mandatory. At least the ones round me are. Or have I demonstrated my failure to know the Highway Code?

(I did check recently as some have gone up round me and they are coming on at daft times of day and there is no end other than a 30 repeater sign between flashing 20 school sign and the school itself. But I accept I may be wrong on this).

Talking about these things: Image

Ian
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