INTRODUCING 20mph speed limits as standard across Wales will allow streets to be "reclaimed from the motor car", a Newport AM has said.

Newport East's John Griffiths has long campaigned for 20mph speed limits to be introduced as standard in Wales, and quizzed Carwyn Jones about the issue during First Minister's Questions yesterday, Tuesday.

Although councils have powers to introduce 20mph limits in specified areas, Labour AM Mr Griffiths asked Mr Jones if he would support a blanket limit across all urban areas in Wales.

"This makes it easier to avoid accidents, reduces the injury if an accident occurs and allows the streets to be reclaimed from the motor car, which very often is king in our communities at the moment," he said.

"If we want more children playing, more elderly people feeling at ease in walking around their communities, more walking and cycling with the health and environmental benefits that brings, then I believe we need to roll out these 20mph maximum speed limit areas in Wales.

"One way of doing that would be to have a Wales-wide default 20mph limit in our urban areas, which would allow local authorities then to take forward traffic orders for 30mph when it was appropriate. In effect, reversing the current position, making it easier and less costly for local authorities to have these areas in place, which are so important to community life."

Replying, Mr Jones said "a great deal of work is being done" to look into the idea, and the Welsh Government is working with Public Health Wales to review evidence on the benefits of introducing 20mph limits.

"A comprehensive review of speed limits near schools or on or near trunk roads has been carried out," he said.

"There is a multi-year programme to introduce part-time 20mph limits in those locations.

"Funding has been provided for local authorities to implement 20mph zones and limits through the road safety and safe routes in communities grants and I can also inform (Mr Griffiths) that Dr Adrian Davies has been commissioned to carry out an evidence review on 20mph limits, which will then be used to inform any future policy development alongside our work with Public Health Wales."