THE speed limit in Wales is set to drop to 20mph on ALL residential roads – and some drivers are raging,
It’s part of a move to reduce traffic accidents and encourage people to ride bikes and public transport.
Drivers caught speeding could be fined up to £100 and slapped with three penalty points.
But the proposal from the Welsh Labour Government has been branded “ridiculous” by the opposition.
Natasha Ashgar shadow transport minister said: “The Welsh Conservatives are not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship and high streets, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous.
“With a price tag of more than £32 million, is this really money well spent at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living?
“I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.”
Many towns and cities have introduced 20mph restrictions on some residential roads.
But a blanket policy would be a world first, according to campaigners.
Research that revealed a driver is 40 per cent less likely to kill a pedestrian if they collide at 20mph compared with a collision at 30mph is said to have inspired the Labour policy.
Official data shows 1,137 people were killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents in 2018, with 50 per cent of all collisions occurring on roads with a 30mph speed limit.
And a survey by the Welsh Government last year found 80 per cent of people backed the plans, with support highest among households with children.
The proposal is also being backed by green travel campaigners who say it could improve community spirits and boost the local economy by getting people out of their cars.
But a petition against the restrictions was started by Adie Drury, 39, from Flintshire, North-East Wales, who has said the limit will lead to “bikes overtaking cars”.
Speed limits only apply to motor vehicles, although cyclists can be prosecuted for “cycling furiously”.
She said: “The community has no problem with a 20mph limit where it’s necessary and where it’s safe, like outside schools, health centres in housing estates and in heavily pedestrianised areas.
“But cyclists are now doing more than 20mph on their bikes and we can’t in a car – so I’ve had quite a lot of reports of people being overtaken by cycles.”
A spokesperson for the RAC told the Telegraph that driver compliance with 20mph limits is “poor” as many road users view the slower speed as “inappropriate”.
RAC road safety spokesperson Simon Williams said: “Research by the RAC suggests compliance with 20mph speed limits is quite poor with an increasing number of drivers believing the limit is inappropriate for the road.”
“Rather than setting a default 20mph limit on all restricted roads it would be better to target areas where they are most needed – for example on residential roads or in areas where there is high footfall – as opposed to main ‘arterial’ roads where there are few pedestrians.”
Local authorities would be able to raise the speed limit to 30mph on some roads, if deemed appropriate.