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Record breaking 20mph petition recommended for debate

26 Apr 2024 4 minute read
The total signatures racked up by the 20mph Senedd petition.

Emily Price

A record breaking petition calling for the 20mph default speed limit to be scrapped has been recommended for a debate on the floor of the Senedd.

The petition clocked up 469,570 signatures – the most in Senedd history – following the role out of the controversial road regulation in September 2023.

Chair of the Petitions Committee, Jack Sargeant confirmed on Friday (April 26) that he had written to the Senedd’s Business Committee formally requesting a time for the petition to be debated by Members of the Senedd.

He said: “At a meeting of the Petitions Committee on Monday 22nd April 2024, we considered the record breaking petition on the change of the default speed limit on residential roads to 20mph.

“As Chair, I recommended to Committee Members that we seek a debate in the Senedd as soon as possible.

“This is done by writing to the Business Committee formally requesting time for a debate on the Senedd floor to be scheduled which we have done.”

The Business Committee has not yet confirmed a date for the debate.

Revised

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Ken Skates announced on Tuesday (April 23)  that 20mph guidance for councils would be revised so that some roads can switch back to 30mph.

Mr Skates admitted that the cost of revising roads could be up to £5 million.

This is in addition to the roughly £34 million it cost to roll out the new speed limit in Wales.

The Transport Secretary said: “We’ve started by listening. I have been clear in all my conversations that we will put communities at the heart of our thinking and will listen to people.”

A Senedd source told us the announcement from the new Transport Secretary was “no different from what was already planned and underway”.

The petition asking the Welsh Government to “rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law” was launched by Mark Baker.

He says he’s “not surprised” it’s been recommended for debate as the Welsh Government “could not have ignored it”.

‘Confusion’

Speaking to Nation.Cymru, Mr Baker said: “The announcement made on Tuesday does not go anywhere near far enough. We are calling for it to be scrapped and will not accept anything less.

“The Welsh Government putting the onus on local authorities means that it’s going to be a wash of confusion as some will do it and some won’t.

“We will keep fighting until this diabolical policy is removed, either by Labour or by voting them out and getting the Conservatives to.”

An investigation was launched last year to look at where 20mph petition signatures were coming from and if the Senedd’s system was being tampered with in any way.

There was some evidence of some small scale duplication of signatures and some rather bizarre names were recorded such as ‘Rupert the Bear’.

But overall, the majority of the signatures came from people in Wales with valid postcodes and email addresses.

The number of people who signed it surpassed the number of those who voted for Labour in the 2021 Senedd election (443,047 votes).

Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar says residents have made their voices heard.

She said: “Opposition to Labour’s 20mph speed limit scheme has been colossal and this record-breaking petition with nearly 500,000 signatures is just one example of that.

“There has been a drastic change in rhetoric from the Welsh Government over this costly policy, but sadly that’s all it is – warm words. Nothing is changing and as it stands 20mph is here to stay.

“Labour ministers cannot continue to ignore the public’s concerns. Residents have made their voices heard, they want this £33m policy axed and that’s exactly what the Welsh Conservatives would do.

“I look forward to speaking up on behalf of all those campaigning against this 20mph policy during the petition debate and urging the Welsh Government to scrap this policy for good.”


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Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
1 month ago

Welsh Blankets are selling well apparently, this week’s special the 30mph blanket…

We will never know how many lives have been saved during the 20mph interregnum but in another traffic scheme, the ‘smart motorway’ we do have the casualty figures…

They stopped making sense a while back…

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Will Tory councillor for Sundarland, England , Lyall Reed, who ran several Facebook accounts and coordinated the anti 20mph campaign, be invited or even be allowed to speak at the Senedd, just asking for a friend.

Why vote
Why vote
1 month ago

Conservatives say they will scrap it first week, 5 million to change back sounds like a good deal, so who is my Tory Ms must find out. That’s democracy for you.

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago
Reply to  Why vote

The man you are looking for is Darren Millar Tory MS,who voted against the 20 mph introduction, all the others voted for it.

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
1 month ago

Well Well Well, ‘An investigation was launched last year to look at where 20mph petition signatures were coming from and if the Senedds system was being tampered with in any way. There was some evidence of some small scale duplication of signatures and some rather bizarre names were recorded such as ‘Rupert the Bear’. But overall, the majority of the signatures came from people in Wales with valid postcodes and email addresses’. At the time there were individuals including 20s plenty for us founder Mr Rod King who attempted to discredit the petition. Now at this late stage it is… Read more »

Erisian
Erisian
1 month ago

Is that figure after they screened out all the votes from outside Wales?

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