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Plaid Cymru tell Labour Government to ‘sort it out’ with partial 20mph U-turn expected next week

20 Apr 2024 3 minute read
A vandalised 20mph speed limit sign. Picture: LDRS

Plaid Cymru has called on the Welsh Government to “sort it out” amid reports of a partial U-turn on Wales’ default 20mph speed limit, which is expected to be announced next Tuesday.

Transport Secretary Ken Skates is expected to confirm some roads in Wales will revert to 30mph following the backlash aimed at the government’s policy which came into force last September at an estimated cost of £34m pounds.

Mr Skates said the changes will address the concerns that “a lot of people” have raised “on a consistent basis”.

“We’ve put our hands up to say the guidance has to be corrected,” he said.

Exemptions

Responding to his comments, Rhun ap Iorwerth, Leader of Plaid Cymru said: “Over six months have passed since Plaid Cymru tabled a Senedd amendment, and won the vote, gaining a commitment from Welsh Government to review the impact of new limits and to empower local authorities to make further exemptions.

“I support the principle of widespread 20mph zones, but it’s clear that it was implemented very poorly and inconsistently, with too many roads changing to 20mph in places where it felt unreasonable.

“Welsh Government must push ahead now and sort it out, working with local authorities and communities to ensure that limits are properly reviewed, and unreasonable 20mphs are removed.”

Mr Skates, who was appointed to the cabinet last month, told the Senedd earlier this week that there is widespread support for 20mph in areas where children and older people are at risk.

Listening

He stressed that ministers want to undertake a “national listening programme” on 20mph, engaging with businesses, communities and citizens across the country.

Mr Skates said: “There is, I believe, a growing consensus in this debate that we can at least build on that 20mph is right around our schools, hospitals, nurseries.”

He vowed: “Changes will be done with and for the communities we all serve – with the voice of citizens right at the heart of all we do.”

The 20mph limit in urban and residential areas came into force across Wales in September 2023 and has been met with opposition in the Senedd from the Welsh Conservatives and by a petition calling on the Welsh Government to remove the law has received nearly 500,000 signatures.

Ken Skates said in response to a debate tabled by the Conservatives in the Senedd on Wednesday that there will be a review into 20mph zones to ensure that they’re “targeted” in areas “where children and the elderly are at risk.”


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Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago

Let’s hope common sense pevails. The majority of urban roads are well suited to 20mph but, as I’m sure most will agree, there are arterial routes that should have remained at 30mph. The guidance and implementation of the new law was rather shambolic. I still see drivers routinely drive at 30mph. I said repeatedly that for law to be effective it requires consent. Sadly, this debate was quickly polarised and turned into a Left vs Right battleground – something I will also bemoan. What is needed is cool headed pragmatic planning of transport, not daft political heat and a social… Read more »

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Annibendod

So mine and my families lives worth less you say, as i live on a a road. Now if only the car drivers stuck to 30. But they don’t and the lack of care is sickening. It has nearly seen my eife murdered (yes I say that for speeding fools). I already suffer RCT council who are anti anyone not in cars as it is. Labour are pointless if they stand back and await deaths

Annibendod
Annibendod
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Thanks for proving my point.

Stevie B
Stevie B
1 month ago

20mph in certain areas is obviously a good idea and should have been introduced on a case-by-case basis. The way the policy was implemented was amateur in the extreme. There are many people driving around today who still don’t know if they are in a 20 or 30mph zone. The policy should have been implemented gradually, who ever suggested the big bang approach needs to be counselled.

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie B

Surely there are signs for it whenever the limit changes?

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

There was by me,but Rhondda Cynon Taf council removed them and painted over the floor markings. So partial visible paint and removed signs, signals go racing again.

This maybe awkward.
This maybe awkward.
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

They told us not to trust the signs because they didn’t change them before hand. How many signs were changed since?

A Evans
A Evans
1 month ago
Reply to  Stevie B

“Amature is too polite a word to describe their mad rush to 20…..I would say ” Blind Stupidity”!

Dai
Dai
1 month ago

Plaid Cymru voted for the stupud 20mph with Labour. They are just as guilty.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Dai

If Plaid Cymru were guilty of anything it’s probably assuming that the Labour government wouldn’t make a siop siafins (shambles) implementing it.

A case of learning from experience – always factor in Labour incompetence.

A Evans
A Evans
1 month ago
Reply to  CapM

NO, Plaid backed this (shambles)!

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

Careful how Labour does this. Renege because someone can use multiple email addresses and the far right think tanks have pushed this (and Welsh Cons, they are part of this game) they will have you over a barrel for every policy they disagree with, which is pretty much anything. They will pull the same tactic on the next issue they want to trip you up with, and it will happen. You need to tighten up the petition and keep a backbone in. And I wont vote for a Labour that shifts this easily at the next senedd election and I… Read more »

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

“Mind you, I can still vote Labour just to stick it to the Cons if part of the game is to disenfranchise Labour voters.”

Still so many people in Cymru don’t seem realise that they don’t just live in a part of England that happens to be called Wales.
Unlike those in the land beyond Clawdd Offa we don’t have our electoral choice limited to Tory or ToryLite.

No one in Cymru has to be complicit in voting for Labour’s programme of austerity at the next general election.
But if they do they will be.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  CapM

I will vote to keep the Cons out. Plaid are giving me worries over the way they deal with abuse but I can still vote for them.
Who knows at the next Senedd election. However, until FPTP removed UK wide, I don’t see any chance of fully Senedding the place up no matter who is in the majority in Wales. That goes for full indy or devolution with more autonomy.

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

“I will vote to keep the Cons out.” Absolutely no need for you to do so. Vote for Labour if you wish to of course but again votes for Labour in Cymru will be irrelevant in determining which party governs in Westminster. English votes will send the Tories packing in the next general election the same way English votes sent Labour packing at the last general election. I think we in Cymru generally have an inflated opinion of our own importance when it comes to determining who governs the UK. It’s something the Labour party has actively encouraged over generations.… Read more »

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

I’m not sure why Labour are signalling ahead of time that they might partially row back on the 20mph policy, because surely they know that will only get the attack dogs salivating and they won’t be satisfied by anything less than a U-turn?

CapM
CapM
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Gething has been given his instructions from Starmer.

Labour in Wales must put the apple cart back on it’s wheels and get cart moving at 30mph.
Labour in Wales must be aligned with StarmerLabour on fruit transportation matters.
Labour in Wales must promote the perception that StarmerLabour is the party of apple cart drivers.
Labour in Wales must stand by to receive further Starmerlabour orders including but not confined to those concerning fruit and transport.

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

I am still suspicious of the petition but it has political legs (tufton St is good at this, see Brexit). I can use multiple emails it seems to sign this and an A-Z of Wales for postcodes. Problem is U turn on this and all bets are off for any party with any manifesto promise. The farmers petition pulled 15+k signatures (last I checked) and had massive turn out and visual support. The 20mph petition had a few people turn up at the senedd and a few driving down the M4, certainly no where near the numbers I would expect… Read more »

A Evans
A Evans
1 month ago
Reply to  Mawkernewek

Typical political self preservation! They “thought” that as time went bye we would all forget! Now, they realise that their ignoring of the electorate could end up with P45s in the near future, the back pedaling has commenced!

Mawkernewek
Mawkernewek
1 month ago
Reply to  A Evans

Back pedalling doesn’t work on most bicycles sold since the 1890s

A Evans
A Evans
1 month ago

So! Plaid who fully supported this 20 mph dictat ‘blink first’. SUDDENLY, after ignoring genuine grievances by the electorate, the Senedd claims that the are listening! Bull*hit, the elections are creeping nearer & nearer & there are a lot of potential P45 MSs getting cold feet. While they are “rethinking” their demands don’t forget the other sly speed switches they made! 70 to 50 & 60 to 40!

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
1 month ago
Reply to  A Evans

Internal polling on this policy must show that it is still an issue.

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
1 month ago

Once again Rhun being his usual devious and disingenuous self. Why is he telling us all this now? Did he not voice any of these concerns at the time, particular as this was another top down policy from the centre? Why did he and his party wait until the very end when the 20 mph policy was virtually in the door to spring into action? I knew as soon as he got his amendment that he would be waving it around come election time. Think of is as an attempted get out of jail free card if/when events politically took… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

With Scotland about to introduce a bill to reduce speed limits to 20 mph and align with us, I wonder how long it will take for a petition, set up and run from England, by Tory party members, and even councillors, to hit the front pages, and will it be a “blanket” speed limit, unlike ours.

Ray
Ray
1 month ago

Knocking 33% off the previous limit was too severe – 25mph would have been better, but more judiciously applied. Some cruise control settings do not operate as low as 20, so again 25 would have been more practical at a 16% drop. It would be interesting to know how much RTA statistics have dropped as a res7ult.

Alice Lander
Alice Lander
1 month ago

Left wing fascists hate democracy and common sense. You can make it 5mph but it means nothing unless every road is policed on a regular basis. Before reducing roads from 30mph make sure 99%are doing 30, otherwise they will never stick to 20 neither

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