20mph Speed Limit

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Sam Rowlands

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The Welsh Government is planning to introduce a blanket, 20mph speed limit on urban streets, with Wales becoming the first nation in the world to do so.

Most people will agree with lower speed limits outside schools, hospitals and on roads where there is clear evidence of it being necessary and appropriate, but not as a blanket approach, in particular on main artery roads. 

Sam has been campaigning against the proposals to adopt a 20mph default speed limit across all residential streets in Wales. This could lead to an increase in traffic and an increase in emissions, whilst impacting businesses and those trying to get on with their normal life activities. In addition to this, the Welsh Government’s own Explanatory Memorandum to their Bill says the introduction of 20mph speed limits will cost the Welsh economy £4.5 billion.

20mph speed limits across Wales could have a dangerous impact and will be a backward step in how we go about our daily lives.

You can find out more about Sam’s campaign against default 20mph speed limits below:

Press Coverage

July 2022 - Wales: Politicians' thoughts on 20mph speed limit zones | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

July 2022 - Speed limit to be lowered to 20mph in Wales | ITV News Wales

July 2022 - North Wales politician backs campaigners fighting against a 20mph speed limit in Buckley | (deeside.com)

August 2022 - 'I feel so sorry for the people of Buckley' - MS on 20mph scheme | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

October 2022 - Driving law changes could see motorists fined for speeding offences with 20mph limits | Express.co.uk

October 2022 - Town's 20mph limits branded 'appalling' as Welsh Government defends scheme - North Wales Live (dailypost.co.uk)

November 2022 - Sam Rowlands MS calls for clarity over cost of 20mph scheme roll-out | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

January 2023 - Calls for Welsh Government to publish costings of 20mph scheme | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

February 2023 - Welsh Government's own report says 20mph speed limit could cost economy billions | Wales Online

June 2023 - 20mph speed limits on GB News | YouTube

June 2023 - MS calls for Welsh Government to scrap 'detrimental' 20mph plan | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

August 2023 - 20mph speed limit on TalkTV | YouTube

September 2023 - North Wales politician calls for "immediate halt" of looming 20mph speed limit - Wrexham.com

September 2023 - Sam on 20mph speed limits with Vaughan Roderick | YouTube

September 2023 - North Wales politician calls for 'immediate halt' to impending 20mph speed limit change - North.Wales

September 2023 - Sam Rowlands MS on campaign against 20mph amid petition | North Wales Chronicle

September 2023 - Sam Rowlands speaks to GB News about the Welsh Government’s default 20mph speed limit - YouTube

October 2023 - Sam Rowlands MS challenges 20mph funding for English | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

November 2023 - 20mph: Sam Rowlands MS raises concerns over air pollution | The Leader (leaderlive.co.uk)

9th July 2022 – Meeting with residents in Buckley

Back in July, the Welsh Government announced that they were brining forward legislation on introducing 20mph speed limits. Sam met with residents in Buckley in North Wales. They said the 20mph speed limit pilot in Buckley was causing more pollution, more accidents, and more delays. Click here to watch Sam's feedback from the meeting.

12th July 2022 - The Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022

On 12th July, the Welsh Government brought forward legislation to allow 20mph speed limits to be introduced in the near future. Sam spoke out against this disastrous proposal, and outlined that concerned residents believed this would lead to more pollution, more accidents, and more delays. You can watch Sam's contribution to the debate here.

1st August 2022 – Welsh Council goes back to 30mph speed limit

Weeks after the Welsh Government introduced 20mph speed limits, Monmouthshire County Council said they wouldn’t introduce this. In addition to this, Professor Paul Lewis of Swansea University said there was still a lack of evidence around the reduction in air pollution. You can find Sam's reaction to this news here.

16th November 2022 - Business Statement

Back in November, Welsh councillors were sent a letter by the Welsh Government outlining that 20mph speed limits will save £100m in the first year, yet the Welsh Government’s own figures for their Bill say the proposal will cost the economy £4.5bn. Sam called on the Welsh Government to bring forward a statement so all costs of this scheme were fully understood. You can watch Sam's contribution here.

10th January 2023 – Wales Online Article

Wales Online published a story regarding the Welsh Government’s own report saying 20mph speed limits could cost the economy £4.5bn. Sam was quoted, saying that it is vitally important that safety is balanced with economic common sense. You can read the Wales Online article here.

18th January 2023 – Business Statement

In November Sam called for a Welsh Government statement outlining the full costings of 20mph speed limits. The Welsh Government confirmed a statement would be released, however as of February a statement hadn't been released. Sam challenged the Welsh Government over this, and his Welsh Parliament contribution can be found online here.

2nd February 2023 – Leader Column

Sam used his frequent column in the Leader to outline how the Welsh Government’s 20mph default speed limit will cost the Welsh economy £4.5bn, and that instead of slowing Wales down, the Welsh Government should grip the wheel and get Wales moving again. Click here to read Sam's column.

8th March 2023 – Questions to the Minister for the Economy

During a session of Questions to the Minister for the Economy in the Welsh Parliament, Sam challenged the Minister over the impact of the new, default 20mph speed limit on Wales’ economy.  Sam’s questions followed the Welsh Government failing to explain the economic impact of their new policy, after their own papers indicated that it would cost the Welsh economy £4.5 billion. 

Sam’s comments can be found online here.

31st May – Petition to scrap the new 20mph speed limit

A petition calling on the Welsh Government to scrap their planned default 20mph speed limit was closed after reaching almost 22,000 signatures.  The Welsh Parliament’s petition committee submitted a request that the issue be debated again.

6th June 2023 – Interview on GB News

Sam was interviewed on the introduction of new, default 20mph speed limit by Nigel Farage on national television, along with a representative from the 20’s Plenty campaign. 

Sam pointed out that the Welsh Government have failed to listen to people across Wales, and highlighted the £4.5 billion cost to the Welsh economy.  You can watch the interview online here.

2nd August 2023 – Interview on TalkTV

Sam was interviewed by Ian Collins on TalkTV about the Welsh Government’s default 20mph speed limit. 

Sam and Ian discussed the motivation behind the Welsh Government’s new plan.  You can watch the interview online here.

3rd September 2023 - Interview on BBC Radio Wales

Sam was interviewed by Vaughan Roderick on BBC Radio Wales' Sunday Supplement about the Welsh Government's plans to make 20mph the new, default speed limit in Wales.  You can listen to the interview online here.

12th September 2023 - Welsh Government Statement on 20mph Speed Limit

The Welsh Government's Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, made a statement in front of the Welsh Parliament, confirming that they still planned to implement the new, default 20mph speed limit from Sunday, 17th September.  You can watch the statement online here.

13th September 2023 - Debate on repealing the default 20mph Speed Limit

Members of the Welsh Parliament debated repealing the default 20mph speed limit.  The Welsh Government spoke against the proposal to repeal, which was voted down.  You can watch Sam's contribution online here.

17 September 2023 - Default 20mph speed limit comes into force

The default 20mph speed limit comes into force.

September 2023 - Welsh Parliament Petition is launched

A petition calling on the Welsh Government to reverse the default 20mph speed limit is launched on the Welsh Parliament's website.  It quickly becomes the most signed Welsh Parliament petition in history, collecting hundreds of thousands of signatures.  You can view the petition online here.

22 September 2023 - Sam provides an update on the campaign

Sam provided an update on the campaign so far against the 20mph speed limit.

23 September 2023 - GB News interview

Sam was interviewed by GB News' Patrick Christys about the new, default 20mph speed limit.  You can watch the interview below.

27 September 2023 - Vote of No Confidence

The Welsh Parliament debated a motion of No Confidence in Mark Drakeford's Transport Minister, Lee Waters.  The Welsh Government comfortably wins the vote with Plaid Cymru's support.

4 October 2023 - Welsh Government challenged over funding for English councils

Sam challenged the Welsh Government after it emerged that the spent over £200,000 on supporting the implementation of 20mph speed limits in Cheshire and Gloucestershire.  You can watch what Sam had to say here.


Let Sam know what you think about the Welsh Government's plans for a 20mph, blanket speed limit - complete the survey below:

20mph speed limits

  • Current 20mph blanket speed limit
  • Your details
Do you support the Welsh Government's plans for a blanket, 20mph speed limit across urban area in Wales.
The Welsh Government plan to spend £33 million introducing the new speed limit. Should this be a priority whilst people are facing challenges with the cost of living?
The Welsh Government have admitted that the new speed limit will cost the Welsh economy £4.5 billion per year. Do you think the blanket 20mph speed limit will be good value for money?