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The Welsh Government has announced plans to roll back on their controversial policy of default 20mph limits across the country. 

The Cabinet Secretary for North Wales and Transport, Ken Skates, has said that the process of reverting some roads to 30mph will begin in September. In a statement to the Senedd, he urged residents to contact local councils to inform them of areas that should be included in the reversal.

In 2023, Wales became the first country in the UK to reduce default speed limits in built-up areas from 30mph to 20mph. The policy aimed to reduce road fatalities and was widely hailed a success by ministers.

It is understood that local councils will have the final say on which roads are switched to 30mph and which stay at 20, meaning that no definite number could be given on roads that will change. However, the cost of the works will be paid by the Welsh Government, not councils.

Revised guidance on the policy will be drawn up after public consultation. Councils will then be able to review this over July to September, to check they can alter the speed limit on certain routes.

Mr Skates told Senedd members: “The Welsh government continues to believe that 20mph is the right speed limit in places such as near schools, hospitals, nurseries, community centres, play areas and in built-up residential areas.

“What I am doing now is listening to what people want for the roads in their communities, and pressing ahead with refining the policy and getting the right speed on the right roads. In September the process of reintroducing 30mph to some routes where people wish to see it happen will take place.”

Plaid Cymru also made a statement in which it said it backed the principle of widespread 20mph zones, but acknowledged issues with its implementation from the beginning.

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