Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS, who was responsible for the introduction of the 20mph speed limit on residential roads in Wales, looks to be stepping away from the transport role within his current job.

Wales became one of the first countries in the world, and the first nation in the UK, to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph in on September 17, 2023.

The Welsh Government said the change in speed limit was introduced to reduce collisions, save lives and reduce injuries.

But the move has been met with backlash from residents, with more than 460,000 people signing a petition in opposition to the new speed limit.

While several 20mph speed signs across Wales have also been defaced in protest.

Minister behind 20mph speed limit in Wales to step down from Transport role

Mr Waters holds the role of Deputy Minister for Climate Change within the Welsh Government, a position he has held since May 13, 2021.

As part of that role, he is in charge of transport and was responsible for the introduction of the 20mph speed limit on residential roads. 

He said recently the new 20mph limits were helping to cut speeds and will in turn save lives.

Drivers are travelling on average 4mph slower on main roads in Wales since the rollout of a new lower speed limit for built-up areas, data collected by Transport for Wales (TfW) showed last month.

Mr Waters survived a vote of no confidence last year, according to ITVX.

The Welsh Conservatives forced the vote, saying Mr Waters's position was "untenable" following the backlash the 20mph policy had received. 

The motion was voted down by 42 votes to 16 with no abstentions, ITVX reported.

But now it appears Mr Waters is set to step down from his transport role within the coming weeks.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter) he said: "Over the last 15 years I’ve spent far too much time on Twitter. It stopped being fun a while ago but I now get a pile of malign comments for even the most innocuous posts.

"When I leave my transport role in a fortnight I’ll be deleting my account.

"Elon can shove it up his X."

Mr Waters has been contacted for comment.


Responding to Mr Waters' claims he will leave his transport role in a fortnight the Welsh Conservatives' Andrew RT Davies MS, said: “Motorists and business owners across Wales will breathe a sigh of relief at this news.

“The Deputy Minister’s time in post has been characterised by one anti-motorist policy after another, slowing Wales down and doing serious damage to our economy.

“It’s time to scrap the road building ban, scrap the 20mph speed limit, and implement a transport policy that gets Wales moving.”