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Andrew RT Davies accused of targeting minister for abuse over 20mph speed limit

18 Sep 2023 3 minute read
Left: Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies. Right: Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters.

Emily Price

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies, has been accused of ‘singling out’ the Welsh Government minister in charge of transport for abuse.

Today (September 18) marked the first working day of the new 20mph default speed limit coming into force in Wales, a regulation which has been heavily opposed by the Tories after they U-turned their on previous support for it.

On Monday morning, the leader of the opposition posted a head and shoulders image of the Deputy Minister for Climate Change to social media along with the caption: “You probably don’t know him, but Lee Waters is the man who imposed Labour’s blanket 20mph speed limits on Wales.

“He once said Labour don’t know what they’re doing on the economy! I agree. His extreme policy will cost the Welsh economy up to £9billion.”

Although the Welsh Tories claim the new speed limit will cost the economy in Wales billions of pounds, the first Minister, Mark Drakeford has said there will be a one off cost of £32m and the road safety reform will save the NHS three times as much every year.

Caerphilly MS, Hefin David said the post didn’t consist of “legitimate opposition” but instead singled Mr Waters out for abuse.

Earlier this year, Mr Waters was followed and harassed in the street by a constituent unhappy with controversial Home Office plans to house asylum seekers at the Stradey Park Hotel in Llanelli.

Over the summer the Welsh Government minister took a short break from social media after becoming a target for online abuse for issues surrounding the Stradey Park Hotel and the new 20mph default speed limit.

“Untruths”

On Sunday, the Deputy Climate Change Minister shared a Welsh Government graphic of streetlights with the words ‘See streetlights, think 20mph’.

One social media user replied, “You f**king pr**k.”, another said: “See Lee? Think w****r.”

Hefin David MS told Nation Cymru the Welsh Conservative’s should take responsibility for fuelling confusion over the new road regulation and accused the Party of “untruths”.

He said: “There’s legitimate opposition and then there’s singling individuals out for abuse. This is very much the latter from the Welsh Conservatives.

“On the topic of 20mph, agree or disagree with him, Lee Waters has fronted up, explained and answered questions publicly. In my community this weekend I’ve seen people doing 20mph on roads that are still 30mph.

“The Welsh Conservatives need to take responsibility for this confusion after their untruths about the new limit being a ‘blanket’ policy. My message to Andrew RT Davies is: you can be much, much better than this.”

Mike Hedges, MS for Swansea also criticised the post by the leader of the opposition for the use of the term “blanket”.

Replying to Andrew RT Davies, Mr Hedges said: “Will you stop calling it a blanket ban that is untrue. It does not affect roads currently over 30 and there are hundreds of exceptions where roads are staying at 30.”

Last week, the Welsh Conservatives failed in their bid to scrap the introduction of the new 20mph speed limit which was officially rolled out on Sunday (September 17).

During the fiery Senedd debate, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said the Conservatives had been against “every progressive reform” in the country.

He said: “They are always on the wrong side of history and they never learn.”


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saveenergy
saveenergy
7 months ago

“On Sunday, the Deputy Climate Change Minister shared a Welsh Government graphic of streetlights with the words ‘See streetlights, think 20mph’.” So, by his own words, Lee Waters wants us to think that wherever there are streetlights, we should drive at 20mph. There maybe exceptions, but we don’t necessarily know where they are … As there seems to be some significant confusion with the new rules from the Senedd,  I thought this brief explanation would show how the change works, so that there can be no confusion !! 1. All roads that were previously 30 will now be 20, apart from… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

Good effort, liking your work. What I’m doing to avoid confusion is going by the sign. If there is a 30mph sign in a red circle, it is 30mph because it has to be. They may be getting around to changing that sign to 20 at some point BUT they cannot play grey areas with red circles.

Sean Thompson
Sean Thompson
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

Oh for heavens sake. Until Sunday, all roads that had streetlights 200m or less apart had a thirty mph speed limit, unless there were signs indicating another speed. Now, all roads that have streetlights 200m or less apart have a twenty mph speed limit, unless there are signs indicating another speed. What’s so difficult to understand?

Will Jones
Will Jones
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

Try to get out more

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  saveenergy

I agree with you, but NT is now ‘disappearing’ any views particularly disobliging to this authoritarian Green Senedd without even a pretence of moderation, so my reasoned response is no longer available. In essence, their claim this is not a ‘blanket’ measure is specious and evasive: 20 mph on previously 30 mph roads is not opt-in but opt-out. This sweeping anti-car propaganda and harassment is effectively blanketing Wales – and at considerable expense, moreover. And how predictable that such arrogant authoritarians dismiss petitions and resent any criticism, whether in the Senedd or out on the street!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
7 months ago

Just for the sake of political point scoring, RT is putting lives at risk. By constantly using the word ‘blanket’ to describe this issue, he is leading those who still live by the word of the alternative truth party to potentially travel at 20mph on the M4 & A55. Don’t be daft you say? I’m telling you, they’re out there and they have cars.

Ianto
Ianto
7 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

and loads of them vote Tory, or other extreme right-wing truth benders.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
7 months ago

I traveled to work the other day and ‘none’ of the roads I used had changed. Yes, some of the residential streets either side had 20mph signs – but that’s to be expected as this law is primarily for residential areas. I’m no fan of driving at 20mph but I am even less of a fan of politicians who lie (blanket?) just to get the extra vote. Davies cut the crap and be honest for a change, for goodness sake.

Valerie Matthews
Valerie Matthews
7 months ago

When has this man ever done anything else? Who does he actually represent? My guess is the UK Tory Government!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
7 months ago

Antagonist Andrew RT Davies like his fellow fairweather fascist David TC Davies are Tory trolls use hate and division as seen with Brexit when they not only demonised the European Union , those on benefits, asylum seekers and gypsies, but their relentless attack of Welsh devolution since its inception in 1997. Recently we saw Iain Duncan Smith condone those masked vigilantes filmed damaging cameras in London’s ULEZ zones. I feel Andrew RT Davies has become emboldened by this wreckless mindset and is aping similar by whipping dissent on social media in the hope those willing to either ignore the new… Read more »

Ianto
Ianto
7 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

To be fair to TC, I wouldn’t accept that he’s just a fairweather fascist.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Ianto

A man in long black coat is an easy image to conjure…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

When mainstream faces like Farage and Fat Shanks give it their blessing bad things happen…

To think that IDS was sired by such a brave man…two DSO’s and three DFC’s…

Richard E
Richard E
7 months ago

Holding the Cardiff Bay Gvt to account is an important role and ARTD does a fair job as Plaid remain undecided as to whether they are in : partly in or not in Gvt.

That said ARTD needs to stop ✋ believing he speaks for the majority on the majority of issues.

Well meaning enthusiasts like Lee W are easy targets and personal attacks are best put aside exposing a failure to make one’s case with coherent counter arguments and alternatives backed up by fact not hyperbole.

Peter
Peter
7 months ago

The whole point is—- When the referendum for a Welsh Assembly was voted on, the main reason put forward to the electorate was Wales needed autonomy so that a Welsh government would be more democratic and accountable to the Welsh people.
With the roll out of these new laws, and the answer given by Mark Drakeford to the question “would he consider a u turn”, it is blatantly obvious that the government in Wales is neither.

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