Speed limits for built-up areas in Wales will fall from 30mph to 20mph next year after the Senedd backed the plan.

The new measures would see a 20mph limit applied to restricted roads and residential streets where streetlights are less than 200 yards apart.

The new law – which will come into force in September next year – comes following a 12-week consultation period which was launched in July last year. 

This evening Senedd members backed the new rules with 39 voting in favour and 15 against.

When the consultation was launched, Lee Waters, deputy minister for climate change, said that the move was a “bold step that brings around significant benefits”.

“Not only does it save lives, but it also helps to make our streets a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing and with fewer vehicles on the road helps create a positive impact on the environment,” he added.

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The consultation saw just over 6,000 responses received, with 47 per cent in favour of reducing the speed limit and 53 per cent against it. Feedback from a number of organisations in Wales was submitted, with 22 out of the 25 supporting the proposed reduction in speed limit.

Though a considerable number of towns and villages across the UK already have 20mph speed limits in place on residential streets, the new legislation will put Wales as the first country to make them compulsory on all restricted roads.

The Welsh Government says that a 20mph speed limit will make streets ‘a more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians'.

However, the Welsh Conservatives don't agree and have voiced their opposition to a blanket 20mph ruling. 

Welsh Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Ashgar MS, 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.

“This is yet another diktat imposed by Labour from Cardiff Bay.  

“Speed limits like this should be decided by councils in their local areas, not top-down by Labour ministers. Let’s give local people the power over their communities, the very people who know their roads best.”