The two 20mph road signs that keep getting defaced by a mystery vandal

The 20mph sign
-Credit: (Image: UGC)

Two 20mph road signs are currently competing for the dubious honour of being "the most vandalised in Wales". The signs, in Conwy, have been defaced eight times since 20mph speed limits were introduced in September 2023.

For those living in Llanrhos, near Llandudno, the vandalism of signs has become a regular event. While some locals are less than impressed with the damage, others are glad to see the 20mph debate continuing to be highlighted. Vaughan Gething's Welsh Government has pledged to make changes.

Conwy Council (CCBC) issued a warning after the Llanrhos signs were first targeted with paint last September, stating that defacing signs is not only a criminal act but also poses a safety risk to drivers. Despite the council's promise to clean or replace the damaged signs, local critics vowed to "paint them quicker than they can replace them".

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The most recent act of vandalism took place in the early hours of Sunday, June 23. Although not all of the lettering was legible, the slogans seemed to say, "Get them gone" and "CCBC get it together", reports North Wales Live.

Past slogans have included phrases such as "Cymry Am Byth" (Welsh Forever) and "Dictator Wales". While the background is sometimes painted white, this time it was black. Green is often the colour of choice for the lettering.

Despite the financial burden on Conwy's council taxpayers, one local resident expressed support for the vigilante's message, albeit not their method of delivery. "It's a wrong that makes a right, in my view," they stated.

"People are clearly against it, they have been since the policy was rolled out. But the signs are still there. Some were calling this sort of behaviour a 'last resort' - but I think it's an absolute outrage that 20mph still hasn't been revoked."

In September 2023, approximately 7,700 miles of urban and village roads across Wales saw their speed limit reduced from 30mph to 20mph. Over 30,000 road signs were either erected or modified at a cost of £32m.

The change sparked a petition demanding a reversal, which garnered nearly half a million signatures. Conwy has been a focal point of resistance, with protest convoys still being organised.

Local resentment was further stoked by data revealing that, over a six-week period this spring, 114 drivers were caught exceeding 20mph at a single location, Glan-y-Mor Road in Penrhyn Bay. Cardiff has initiated a review of local 20mph limits and motorists are encouraged to share their suggestions with local authorities.

While the review is underway, Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders has called for enforcement in new 20mph zones to be suspended. Conwy Council previously said: "Damaging traffic signs is classed as criminal damage and we have made the police aware of the issue.

"Vandalising signs can put road users in danger."