Furious Welsh magistrate QUITS over 'sledgehammer' 20mph speed limits 'imposed' on Wales residents

Nicholas Colbourne and 20mph sign

Welsh magistrate quits in furious huff as he hits out against 'farcical' 20mph fines

Survivors of Bereavement by Suicide/Getty Images
Holly Bishop

By Holly Bishop

Published: 24/10/2023

- 11:28

Updated: 24/10/2023

- 11:44

The speed limit was recently reduced from 30mph

A Welsh magistrate has resigned after feeling “uneasy” about the new policy of punishing people who break the 20mph limit.

Nick Colbourne from Wrexham, said he is “completely disappointed in Welsh Labour”.

The 66-year-old, who served on the bench in Wrexham and Mold, North Wales for 18 years, said the speed limit was “done with very little consultation, just imposed”.

Those who are found breaking the 20mph limit could face a £100 fine and three points on their license.

WATCH NOW: Wales driver discuss the new speed limit

The speed limit was previously 30mph.

The new laws have been put in place to save lives and prevent injuries, the Welsh Government has said.

Colbourne decided to become a magistrate whilst he was a Labour county councillor in the mid-2000s.

Yet now he has decided to quit because of the new rule prosecuting speeders, which makes him feel “uneasy”.


Wrexham Magistrates Court

'If an idiot is going to drive through somewhere at say 60mph, they’re going to do it whether the limit is 20 or 30'

Google Street View

The former police officer said: “You are talking about a total of £250 for driving at 24 mph. It's okay for the politicians who have brought in this law but they are not dealing with the public. It's the police and magistrates who will have to face people's wrath. I'm not going to do it.

“Meanwhile, young fools still whizz about doing 60-70mph and the 20-mph limit has made no difference to them.

“If an idiot is going to drive through somewhere at say 60mph, they’re going to do it whether the limit is 20 or 30.”

Colbourne expressed concern that people caught multiple times could be “looking at a six-month ban under the totting up scheme”.

Cars on a motorway

The magistrate did not want to enforce the policy on drivers


He added: “I’m not going to do it. That’s not what court’s about, it feels like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut…We all accept 20mph outside schools but I don’t think blanket coverage across Wales was the answer.”

Colbourne said he was out of the country for the first few weeks of the new policy and was still getting used to the change in driving habits.

The new legislation was introduced in March and has since been slammed by critics, who believe it could negatively impact emergency services’ response times.

A Welsh government spokesman said: “We continue to work closely with emergency services and other agencies to engage with drivers about the benefits of slower speeds.”

You may like