A review of the 20mph speed limit in Wales is looking likely after the new Welsh transport secretary said the controversial measure needed to be more targeted.

The divisive rule was introduced in September 2023 with local authorities having to set the limits in urban and residential areas at 20mph as a default.

It has created huge controversy, with a petition on the issue attracting almost half a million signatures.

Calls for the speed limit to be looked at again prompted transport secretary Ken Scates to make a speech this week saying he “wanted to listen” about the issue.

He said: “Next Tuesday (23 April) I’ll be making an oral statement on transport priorities, where I’ll be outlining measures that will be taken in the coming weeks and months in regard to all matters related to transport, and particularly to 20mph.

“I really strongly feel across the chamber there is support for 20mph in those areas where it’s appropriate, especially where children and the elderly are at risk.

“I think in such areas it all makes sense, it all makes people feel safer. But we do need to make sure 20mph is truly targeted in those places, as we always promised it would be. And we’ll need to work exceptionally closely with our partners in local government, with town and community councils, and indeed citizens, in order to achieve that.

He added: “Changes will be done with and for the communities that we all serve, with the voice of citizens right at the heart of all we do.”

The RHA said it welcomed the secretary’s comments on the blanket speed limit: “We also welcome his plan to work collaboratively to address a move which has proven to be a divisive one for the Welsh public,” said MD Richard Smith.

“We have long been urging the Welsh government to rethink this policy and to instead focus on creating a road network which benefits all users.

“Whilst we must all strive to improve the safety of our roads and while we recognise that 20mph is appropriate in areas where there are known accident hot spots and in areas where there are hospitals and schools, we’ve long questioned whether a blanket 20mph zone is necessary when more targeted measures would work just as well.”

Smith added: “We will continue to engage with the new transport secretary and the Welsh government on this issue which is important to our members.”