20mph a week on: 'It's created more problems than it's solved', says lorry driving instructor

A lorry driving instructor from North Wales has reflected on the 'problems' caused by the new 20mph limits, a week after it was implemented across Wales.

As of September 17, 30mph roads have been reduced to 20mph where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.

Last week, lorry driving instructor Stuart Walker spoke to ITV News Wales about the new law. He said the changes are going to cause gridlock at rush hour.

Today, we caught up with Mr Walker to see if what he expected has come to pass.

"I think it's created more problems than it's solved," Mr Walker said.

"I've seen nothing but dangerous overtaking.

"Tailgating now is more like ramming the driver off the road in front of you, the amount of aggression shown is incredible and of course we've got bunching, so all the major junctions in Wrexham are now gridlocked."

However, Mr Walker pointed out that he has seen some people driving more carefully.

"It's not all bad news, I do see people driving more carefully, and that is a good thing," he said.

Mr Walker added: "Safety must come first and we must expect inconvenience for road safety, but if I was driving I'd be very concerned because it's just adding extra time onto deliveries and they might find that they have a bigger shortage of lorry drivers and delivery drivers in the future."

"Obviously you've got to give it time for people to get used to it, but shall we just say, there are a lot of problems and unless they solve these problems, then the road safety initiative will not work and it becomes a total waste of money."

The move has proved controversial with a poll for ITV Wales revealing that just 33% of people support the policy, while 61% are opposed to it.

However, data from sat nav systems showed that since the new limit came in to place, motorists travelled an average of nearly three miles an hour slower in towns and cities.

Richard Owen, CEO of Agilysis said: "One interesting part of our analysis found that travel speeds on the road network before the change weren't actually as high as 30mph - quite often people were travelling at much lower speeds then that on different parts of the network, so although we've only seen a 2.9mph drop in speeds, that does mean that speeds are now actually, on average, around 20mph."

He added: "People are, broadly speaking, sticking to the new limits. It showed people are making new choices about the speeds that they go on the road network and, I guess, they're broadly supportive of the speeds that we see."

“This is what we expected," said Rod King, founder and campaign director for 20’s Plenty for Us.

"Our experience from so many implementations across the UK tells us that 20mph limits work, and they work particularly well on the faster urban roads," he continued.

"They are not a silver bullet, but do reduce speeds to make streets far more pleasant for walkers and cyclists, they lower faster speeds and produce a more consistent flow of traffic. This in turn makes it safer for all road users.

"A default urban/village 20mph limit is key to liveability and community life whilst at the same time retaining mobility for all. Well done Wales.”