SOME Welsh councils will receive more than £3.5 million to prepare roads for the switch to the new 20mph default speed limits.

The Welsh Government will slash speeds on most roads in residential or built-up areas from 30mph to 20mph in September, for safety reasons.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show the government has set aside more than £30 million in “core allocations” to fund the big switchover, including costs for new signs and road markings.

But the government believes any costs incurred in the short-term will soon be saved because slower speeds will mean fewer accidents and injuries.

Over the next two years, Neath Port Talbot will receive £3.72m to cover the costs of the move to 20mph – the highest amount of funding in Wales, followed by Swansea (£3.m) and Rhondda Cynon Taf (£3.11m).

Last month the Argus reported how Newport would receive more than £600,000 for the scheme, and the city council’s opposition leader suggested the Welsh Government had “money to burn”.

But the nationwide figures show the city’s allocation is dwarfed by the sums that will be given out to 16 other councils.

None of Gwent’s local authorities feature highly in terms of funding, but collectively they will be given more than £3.5m by the Welsh Government.

Caerphilly County Borough Council will receive £992,000 for the switch to 20mph speed limits, followed by Torfaen (£784,000), Blaenau Gwent (£670,000), Newport (£613,000) and Monmouthshire (478,000).

Only Merthyr Tydfil and Denbighshire – at £478,000 and £346,000, respectively – will receive a smaller amount of government funding than Monmouthshire.

South Wales Argus: How much funding the Welsh Government is giving to councils in Wales to cover the costs of switching to 20mph default speed limits.How much funding the Welsh Government is giving to councils in Wales to cover the costs of switching to 20mph default speed limits. (Image: Newsquest)

And the Welsh Government figures also show ministers have to fork out cash to English councils in border areas, to cover the costs of any signage there for motorists who enter Wales.

Cheshire West and Chester Council will receive £150,000 from the Welsh Government, who will also give £45,000 to Herefordshire Council and £20,000 Gloucestershire Council as part of the 20mph scheme.

Despite the initial outlay, the government has claimed the reduction in the default speed limit will save money in the long run.

Its research shows a reduction in deaths and injuries will save around £100 million in the first year alone.

Speaking at the time the research was published, last year, deputy minister for climate change Lee Waters said: “The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.”