IT has been two years since the 20mph speed limit policy was first trialled in Buckley - and it seems that the opinions of residents who live and work there have not changed much since.

In February 2020, the Flintshire town - and surrounding areas like Bryn-Y-Baal and Mynydd Isa - were one of eight other areas across Wales selected for a Welsh Government trial which reduced speed limits from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads.

What started off as a 'pilot' scheme eventually became a permanent fixture in September 2023 as the Welsh Government deemed the trials a success and the majority of residential roads in Wales changed from being 30mph to 20mph.

Then, on July 12 2022, Senedd members voted 39 to 15 to approve the Welsh Government's bid to roll out the law on all residential roads.

That was despite major backlash from residents of Buckley and beyond, with over 460,000 people signing a national petition asking for a U-turn to be made.

This time last year, the Leader caught up with Buckley residents one year on from the pilot scheme. Some of them told us they had began to avoid the town altogether as a result of the 20mph speed limit.

This week, we've been getting in touch with people who live, work and regularly travel to Buckley to hear their views two years on from the trial period.

Joe Seery, who is a taxi driver in the Buckley area, said: "I can completely understand some aspects of it. Around schools, on housing estates and major accident hot spots and so.

"However, being a taxi driver and being on the roads more often than others, I have seen the standard of driving slip dramatically due to the 20mph. For instance, on Mold Road in Buckley, quite a long stretch of road and no schools on it.

"It is 20mph, there are some drivers who will do 15mph, even 10mph, it makes journeys longer, not just for taxis. But for everyone.

"People are dangerously overtaking some who do stick to 20. I've also witnessed more car accidents since the speed limit was dropped. Bizarrely, Bannel Lane in Buckley was originally 30mph. But was reduced to 20mph, and it has now been changed to 40mph.

"That road is no different to Mold Road, which is a main road. The reduction of speed by schools is necessary. And, on large housing estates, anyone with an ounce of common sense would drive at 20mph, even less.

"Personally, I would keep 20mph on housing estates, by schools and so on. But not on main roads. Every person I have spoke to regarding the 20mph saga has agreed. Its about time the Welsh government realise what a major error they have made."

Tracey Aston-Wilkinson told us: "As a driver, I first welcomed the 20mp. Walking also felt safer and became more pleasurable and, to be honest, driving slower didn’t bother me.

"But, as time has progressed the vast majority do not adhere to or, in my opinion, stick to anywhere near 20mph so it’s become worse than ever. It’s mentality not speed restrictions that need to change."

Kate Roscoe said: "As someone who grew up in Buckley, now living in Mold, l often used to shop there, but once the 20mph came in l try to avoid going anywhere near, not even to Drury farm shop as often as l used to. I’m sure l’m not the only one, must have hit traders quite badly."

Business owner Neil Diack, who runs The Academy in Buckley, said: "I would be very surprised if any business owner in Wales thinks it has benefitted them in any way - unless they run a fuel station as I get less miles per gallon since the 20 came in!

"It's just another reason for tourists and potential customers not to come into Wales.

"Personally I have to run my car in 2nd gear to comfortably maintain sub-20. As both driver or pedestrian, I feel 30 was safer all round....bring back 30!"

Sandra Davies added: "Absolute waste of money, the amount of pot holes on the roads are a disgrace, the money spent on the speed restrictions should have been used on the roads."

Another local resident, Patryk Zymek said: "There are no good points at all in this. Just a lot of angry drivers who are always sitting on my back. 

"Then, as a pedestrian, I'm not sure if I should cross the road as some people drive faster, some slower. Not to mention, I also have to keep my engine on higher revs due to driving in second gear.

"I'm thinking about moving to England to be able to drive normally."

Rhyl Journal: PIC: Buckley residents have been giving us their views on the 20mph speed limit in their town.

Abigail Dunlop said: "Unfortunately for us it has been awful, as farmers we have a 4x4 and the 20mph is destroying our car.

"It was not made to go so slow and trying to pull a trailer with cattle at 20mph is hard and probably worse for the environment because our car is blowing out smoke with having to work so hard."

Very few Buckley residents seemed to be in favour of the town's 20mph speed limit zones.

One of those who was though was John Holiday, who said: "It is an excellent idea and will improve the environment for the whole community.

"Unfortunately, too many selfish and impatient drivers around, who think that their journey is the only one that matters!

"As a cyclist and pedestrian, the scheme is hugely beneficial, if enforced."

The Welsh Government says that the change from 30mph to 20mph was made in order to 'help save lives'.

However, the backlash that the policy has faced throughout Wales has been seemingly unprecedented.

And even local councils, such as Flintshire, are now in the process of reviewing which roads should be changed back to 30mph.