Vandals turning 20mph signs into rude images ahead of Wales speed limit rollout


The Brits have always had a sense of humour… even when they’re protesting!

Vandals have been making their point in a rude way as they deface 20mph signs ahead of a speed limit roll out in Wales. The Government in Wales is bringing in a 20mph default limit in built-up areas from September 17 – and some people clearly are not happy about it.

People have used peel-off stickers to create a rude image in the latest attack in North Wales. Ahead of the new default zones coming into force, new speed limit signs are being put up across the region, North Wales Live reports.

To ensure speedy implementation of the new limits, 20mph road signs are covered with 30mph stickers that can be quickly removed on or after the rollout date in 10 days’ time. But this has proved to be an open invitation for mischief makers, as confused drivers have found out.

Vandals have been removing stickers on the soon-to-be-introduced signs, meaning they are showing the wrong limits. This prank has happened across the region and it appears that vandals have now come up with a fresh, phallically-themed follow-up.

Among the signs affected is one on Henrhyd Road in Conwy which, like others across the region, has had the ‘3’ peeled off and placed on its side below the ‘0’ in order to form a rude image. Vandals will likely not have long to enjoy their handiwork, however, as councils have been quick to restore tampered signs in recent weeks.

Flintshire Council, for one, has warned that such vandals could be prosecuted for criminal damage. Eyebrows were raised elsewhere in the county when council workers were spotted removing existing 20mph signs and painting over 20mph road markings in Spon Green, Buckley. Baffled residents wondered what on earth was going on.

Many existing 20mph signs will become obsolete once default 20mph speed limits become law on September 17, as they will no longer be exceptions to the norm. Local authorities will then have 12 months to remove those signs that warn of the entry and exit at 20mph zones.

For small round 20mph repeater signs, councils have until September 17, 2028, to take these down. Usually these are attached to lampposts – or their own small posts – within 20mph zones. The same five-year period of grace applies to 20mph road markings.

Updated cost estimates for signage replacement across Wales show that, at 2022 prices, they amount to £21.9m. A more realistic estimate, allowing for eventualities, is £26.7m. You can see here how much funding each council in Wales will get to implement the 20mph default.

The Welsh Government argues 20mph defaults in built-up areas will cut pollution and reduce the number of serious crashes. A government report concluded 20mph zones will have minimal impact on journey times – though the Welsh Government’s own analysis suggested there could be an economic impact.