Crash boy's life saved by 20mph limit, says mum

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A mother whose son was left seriously injured after he was hit by a car believes the 20mph limit saved his life.

The 11-year-old, named Ioan, was left with a double fracture to his pelvis, deep cuts to his face, knees, back and elbow and needed three stitches to his lower lip after the crash on Monday.

Mum Rhiannon, from Holywell, Flintshire, said the youngster could have been killed if the vehicle had been going faster.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates will hold a virtual summit of both supporters and detractors of the limit, including those involved in a record-breaking Senedd petition which attracted almost 470,000 signatures.

Ioan, a pupil at Ysgol Treffynon, is being treated at Liverpool's Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

His injuries could see him spending as long as six weeks there.

Rhiannon, though, is hoping he could be allowed home sooner.

"But (he) will be on bed rest for at least two weeks," Rhiannon told The Leader.

She was told by the doctor who treated Ioan that he had been fortunate.

"After thinking how slow the 20mph speed was I am now so grateful that the car was travelling at 20mph because I dread to think what would have happened if it was even going at 30mph," she said.

"The doctor said the impact was severe and that he's a very lucky boy - and that's just having been hit at 20.

"The fact the car was only travelling at 20mph saved his life, or from potentially life-changing injuries."

The Welsh government has said there will be changes to the existing 20mph speed limit in built-up areas with the "voice of citizens at the heart of all we do".

Rhiannon believed the limit should be tailored to the road.

She said: "There's a place for 20mph and a place for 30mph. We believe that 20mph was definitely the right speed limit in the area where he was struck."

Her family live at the bottom of a busy road in Holywell, Flintshire where the limit is 40mph.

"Both our children have to cross that road before accessing that new footpath they have recently made bigger," she said.

20mph speed limit sign
Ken Skates hopes this move will "enable both sides to listen to one another" [BBC]

Opponents of the controversial 20mph speed limit in Wales will get a chance to meet the minister in charge on Monday.

Mr Skates said it was part of a listening exercise he initiated after inheriting the transport portfolio in First Minister Vaughan Gething's new cabinet.

He told BBC Politics Wales the meeting would be "the first opportunity, I think, to really interrogate the various views and opinions regarding this policy".

Mr Skates added: "I don't expect them to agree at the end of the discussion but I do hope it will enable both sides to listen to one another in a way that removes the heat from the debate which takes place, so often, just on social media.

"The first minister has been absolutely clear that we are not in the business of peddling culture wars, we're in the business of bringing unity where there is discord.

"And on the very emotive subjects relating to transport that's what we are seeking to do."

Info graphic showing stopping differences at different speeds

In a statement to the Senedd last Tuesday, Mr Skates confirmed that the guidance used by councils to set speed limits would be revised over the coming months to allow more roads to be returned to 30mph.

He accepted that the effect of those changes would vary across the country, costing up to £5m.

"If you look at Cardiff, for example, the leader of Cardiff council believes that it may be six routes," said Mr Skates.

"If you look at other areas such as Conwy, it could be many, many dozens of routes.

"So it will vary across Wales, depending on what the councils and what the people of Wales are able to express to us, in partnership, over the coming two months."