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20mph limits returned to 30 shows start of resistance to ‘anti-driver agenda,’ say Tories

30 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Natasha Asghar speaking in the Senedd.

Welsh Government’s “anti-driver agenda” is meeting the start of expected large-scale resistance after a council reversed a ‘default’ 20mph limit on some roads, Welsh Tories have said.

The reversal of 20 mile per hour speed limits trialled in some parts of Monmouthshire are to be confirmed by the county council. 

The Welsh Government passed a new law, this summer, making the lower speed the ‘default limit’ for most residential roads in Wales from September next year. 

But in response to the Welsh Government clarifying its rules around speed limits Monmouthshire County Council, in July, said it would restore the old 30 mph limit in Caldicot where there had been a number of objections to the lower limit that had been trialled since April. 

Residents had a chance to make further comments on the reversal throughout August and a report for the cabinet member for highways, Catrin Maby, is now recommending the council press ahead with reintroducing the 30mph limit. 

It will see a section of the B4245 between Woodstock Way and the Castlegate roundabout revert to the 30mph limit as well as a section of Caldicot Road between the Castlegate roundabout and the bridge over the former railway line to Portskewett. 

Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS said: “What we are seeing here is the beginning of, what I suspect will be, large-scale resistance to the imposition of default 20mph from the Labour Government that is riding roughshod over local decision makers in pursuit of an anti-driver agenda.

“The Welsh Conservatives have long said 20mph speed limits can be appropriate in certain areas such as outside of schools and playgrounds, but forcing councils to fork out thousands of pounds to fix this baseless law shows it should never have been passed in the first place.

“Labour have already admitted that this policy will come at an astonishing cost of £4.5bn to the Welsh economy, proving being anti-driver means being anti-growth.

“Meanwhile, public opinion has not been greatly in favour of this change, with countless people, all across Wales feeling they were not able to have a proper say in this decision, and a new report has cast doubt over how many lives it would actually save.

“Labour ministers need to stop imposing dogmatic and restrictive measures on road users in Wales and focus on making sure Wales has a public transport system fit for the 21st century.”

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Richard 1
Richard 1
1 year ago

This discussion fails to reflect the silent and invisible effect of traffic on people who are fearful of using or crossing main roads in towns – children and their parents, old people, people with conditions like Parkinson’s and the long-term effects of stroke. Driver behaviour seems to have improved since new emphasis was put on giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists near junctions; there is more to be done, and the 20mph limit is a very small price to pay.

1 year ago

There could be one of two things going on here, either the spokesperson does not understand the speed limit reduction changes, as local councils have always had the final say in setting the speed limit, and public opinion was also saught during the consultation period, or she is deliberately misleading people trying to gain political points. I suspect both.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
1 year ago

Best to call it the Tories’ anti-safety agenda…

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