Vale of Clwyd MS, Gareth Davies, submitted a letter to Denbighshire County Council on 27th November that requested exemptions from the default 20mph speed restriction on seventeen separate highways. The list of roads was drawn up following consultation with Mr Davies’ constituents.
On 6th December, the Senedd member received a response from Denbighshire County Council informed Mr Davies that that his suggestions will be formally considered by officers who are in the process of visiting areas that he submitted for review. These will then be presented to the council’s Cabinet.
Mr Davies responded to this news, saying:
“I do welcome the cooperation of Denbighshire County Council, and I am pleased that they have listened to the concerns of my constituents, with the council’s agreement to inspect the roads that I proposed. I am also slightly disappointed that we are unable to obtain a clearer commitment. I hope that the council’s Cabinet will be briefed on the suggested roads, and that exemptions from the 20mph speed limit will be applied”.
Also adding that:
“The correspondence from Denbighshire County Council also demonstrates that despite the Welsh Government’s insistence that local authorities have the discretion to overturn the 20mph restriction on certain routes, councils nonetheless appear to be apprehensive about interfering in what they see as legislation from Cardiff Bay within which they have little wiggle room.”
Mark Isherwood MS (North Wales region) also added:
“When Gareth Davies and I met Denbighshire County Council last month to discuss the County’s implementation of the Welsh Government’s default 20mph speed limit in Wales, we were told that although the Council would collate and consider additional requests for exemptions, they had to keep ‘to the letter of the law’ stipulated by the Welsh Government. Despite the protestations of Welsh Government Ministers, their exceptions policy leaves Councils with limited discretion. Instead of top-down diktats from Cardiff, we need sensible case-by-case speed limits that reflect local knowledge and local people’s wishes.”