‘Frankly ludicrous’: Welsh Conservatives slate 20mph speed limit plans
The Welsh Conservatives have described plans to introduce 20 mile per hour speed limits in built up areas across Wales as “frankly ludicrous” ahead of a Senedd vote later today.
The Restricted Roads Order, if passed, would make Wales the first nation in the world to adopt a 20mph default speed limit on residential streets.
“The Welsh Conservatives are not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship and high streets, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous,” Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Ashgar MS, said.
“It’s extraordinary that that the Labour Government has admitted this will have a negative cost of £4.54bn to the Welsh economy – is this appropriate at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living? I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.
“This is yet another diktat imposed by Labour from Cardiff Bay.
“Speed limits like this should be decided by councils in their local areas, not top-down by Labour ministers.
“Let’s give local people the power over their communities, the very people who know their roads best.”
Last week travel campaigners urged the Senedd to back the plans, highlighting research which shows that pedestrians are 40 per cent less likely to die when hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared with one travelling at 30mph.
A survey conducted by the Welsh Government last November also found that 80 per cent of participants supported the plans, in particular parents or those with children in the household.
Backing the new speed limit, Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of the campaign group Living Streets, described the plans as “life-changing legislation”.
“When the speed limit is reduced from 30mph to 20mph there is typically an average decline in casualties of at least 20%,” he said.
“There are also benefits in terms of reduced noise and safer and more cohesive communities that are more pleasant to live in. People are also likely to be encouraged to walk or cycle more, which is good for their health and pollution levels.
“It’s simple: slower speeds save lives – and I urge Members of the Senedd to support the 20mph in the vote.”
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