The default speed limit in Labour-run Wales in residential and built-up areas will drop from 30mph to 20mph this Sunday.
The Welsh Conservatives, who are opposed to the move, have tabled a motion in the Welsh assembly to scrap the policy.
But yesterday the Welsh first minister Mark Drakeford vowed to press ahead despite warnings it will cost at least £33million to implement and cost the country’s economy £9billion over 30 years. Wales’ emergency services have also warned that blanket 20mph speed limits will slow their response times down, effectively putting lives at risk.
But Mr Drakeford insisted cutting speed from 30mph to 20mph would protect lives and claimed it would save the NHS in Wales £92million a year. He said: ‘This is a manifesto commitment of the Labour Party, and it was in our election manifesto.
‘Politicians are very often criticised for not keeping their promises and this is a promise that we will be keeping here in Wales.
Mr Drakeford added: ‘I’m reinforced in my belief that it is the right thing to do from the experience we see elsewhere in the world. Spain, which has had this policy in place over recent years, have seen a 20 per cent reduction in urban deaths on the roads.’
Meanwhile, Transport for London (TfL), of which the city’s Labour mayor Mr Khan is chairman, said it will rollout another 40 miles of 20mph zones across multiple boroughs. Once completed, nearly 90 miles of TfL roads will have been turned into 20mph limits.
TfL’s walking and cycling commissioner, Will Norman, said yesterday: ‘TfL data shows that 20mph speed limits are reducing the number of collisions on London’s roads, which is why I’m pleased the 20mph programme has been expanded.’