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Senedd petition to axe 20mph speed limit rockets to over 50,000 signatures

18 Sep 2023 3 minute read
The 20mph Senedd petition.

Emily Price

A Senedd petition calling for the new 20mph default speed limit to be axed has reached over 50,000 signatures and is increasing rapidly every hour.

On Sunday (September 17) Wales became the first UK nation to drop the default speed limit of 30mph to 20mph on restricted roads.

Welsh Government ministers have said the new road regulation will result in fewer deaths and save the NHS around £92m every year.

However the speed limit change has been met with opposition by the Tories who last week forced a vote in the Senedd in an attempt to block the new default speed limit coming into force.

Following the fiery debate calling for “targeted measures” instead of a default speed limit, the Welsh Conservatives lost the vote to repeal the new 20mph default law.

Mark Baker started a Senedd petition calling for the 20mph limit plans to be scrapped and the number of signatories has rapidly increased in the last 24 hours to 50,000.

If a Senedd petition gets over 10,000 signatures, the Petitions Committee will consider asking for a debate in the Senedd chamber but this is not guaranteed.

The petition, started by Mark Baker has been signed by the Welsh Conservative’s Shadow Minister for Transport and Technology, Natasha Asghar who has shared it on her social media accounts urging others to sign.

“Public opinion”

Titled, ‘We want the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law’ the petition  states the new 20mph law “will mark the end of having socialism in power in Wales” and demands the “foolish idea” is stopped.

Natasha Asghar, Member of the Welsh Parliament for South East Wales and Shadow Minister for Transport, said: “The new blanket 20mph speed limit has been in place for just one day and already people have had enough of it.

“For nearly 50,000 people to sign a petition within 24 hours shows the extent of public outrage towards Labour’s madcap policy.

“This highlights that there has been little to no consultation with the general public, the Labour Government have clearly avoided all public scrutiny in a bid to get their socialist agenda pushed through.

“Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda.

“With this ludicrous policy forced on the people of Wales, Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales.”


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Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago

Natasha Asghar needs to explain why 20mph is a ‘socialist’ speed limit.

Rhobert Davi8s
Rhobert Davi8s
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

She means it was introduced by a socialist minded party.

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

Unless you’re a mind reader or have discussed this with Ms Asghar, what she meant to say is just a guess on your part.

Ms Asghar has said a lot of silly and “inaccurate” things on this subject why would suggesting that a 20mph limit is part of a socialist agenda be any different.

Richard
Richard
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhobert Davi8s

What Party is that ? ☹️

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

She also needs to explain why, as a serving MS, she decided to try and become the Mayor of London, they city which already has many boroughs with 20mph zones, and is introducing more.

Nigel Channing
Nigel Channing
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

20 mph is a socialist limit because socialist policies, while ostensibly sacrificing the free choices of all for the greater good, favour one sector of society differentially. The folk likely to be killed at 30 mph are more likely to be walking than driving Porsches. Making individual choice as free as possible, including driving speed, is a human right but also a conservative notion because those with greater resources will always enjoy a wider range of choice than those of more limited means. They therefore have more to lose. Equality can only be achieved by oppression across the board –… Read more »

Glwyo
Glwyo
6 months ago
Reply to  Nigel Channing

I will only interject to point out that being able to drive at whatever speed you like is a liberal notion, rather than conservative, although the political party which today calls itself “the conservative party” does indeed have a schizophrenic association with liberal policies.

Paul
Paul
6 months ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Beans and toast and a cup of tea..I dont drive happy days.xx

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago

“Back in March” the tories were backing the reduction. Now they are seeking only to foment trouble.

The petition has been around for six months and was barely noticed. Now, quite suddeenly it has reached the dizzy heights of 50 thousand;. Please remind me what proportion of the electorate is that?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

And people have known, or should have known about the the change to 20 mph in built up areas as it was in Welsh Labour’s 2021 election manifesto, so it could have been opposed in that election. I’m guessing that most who are now incandescent with rage are those who a) didn’t read Welsh Labour’s manifesto, or b) didn’t vote, or who voted Welsh Labour and therefore endorsed the policy.

Jonathan Stanway
Jonathan Stanway
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

You cannot claim that because people vote for a party that means they support every policy, that’s ridiculous.

The issue with this one is that theres seems to have been no planning for some of the side effects, community care workers, bus timetables, emergency vehicle response times etc.

If you question these you just get the response ‘don’t you want to save lives?’

There are serious issues that needed debating before this policy was introduced and they haven’t been

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago

Emergency response times will not be affected. It was a Tory PM, David Cameron, who’s gov passed a law exempting them from speeding laws while attending an emergency.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

Police and fire vehicles and ambulances have always been exempt, I think you’re referring to a 2012 investigation on exempting other services, though this legislation did amend a 1982 law and required all those able to use the exemption be properly trained.

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Thank you for the correction, yes it is the 2012 law I am referring to.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

As it was in Welsh Labour’s 2012 manifesto, and the motion was passed by the Senedd in July 2022 there has been plenty of time to plan for the implementation. Also, there has been coordination with local authorities, so this means that local councillors will have been involved in local decision making, and as it has been in the news often enough, constituents have had plenty of opportunity to make their feelings known at many levels during this time frame. If people vote for a party when that party has polices in its manifesto that they fundamentally disagree with then… Read more »

Mick
Mick
6 months ago

Around school witch makes sense
The money could have gone NHS and road repairs

Stuart Cane
Stuart Cane
6 months ago
Reply to  Mick

The NHS will benefit from fewer serious road accident victims so a great funding boost for them!

Jan Young
6 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Cane

Rubbish. Only 6 deaths in the whole of Wales ????

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

You’ve forgot to take into account the costs involved with injuries, response to and treatment.
Instant death would admittedly probably incur relatively little expense to the NHS.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

Only six? Well we must try harder.

It’s not only deaths is it, but all the avoidable callouts. If you have the statistics to hand, how many RTA callouts were there that involved pedestrians? What proportion were to residential areas? How many involved children? A&E? Hospitalisation?

How many might not have been necessary if the driver’s response time was extended by driving more slowly or if 20 mph caused only bruising instead of a broken bone?

Ianto
Ianto
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

ONLY six deaths?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

How would you feel if one of those deaths were one of your kids or someone close to you?

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

In 2022 the police in Cymru recorded 3,312 road collisions, resulting in 93 deaths. In what year was it only 6 deaths on the roads, could you please give the figures. Below are figures for 2022.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.roadsafetywales.org.uk/statistics/&ved=2ahUKEwjnpY_5gLWBAxVTgf0HHdZSDPkQFnoECCQQAQ&usg=AOvVaw2hfvvnI6eVyFeNcsGw7Z_U

Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago
Reply to  Jan Young

what if one of your loved one’s were one of the 6 ?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Stuart Cane

Welsh government reckons £92 million a year, which is probably considerably more than what the Tories claim will be the hit to the Welsh economy, especially when the productivity of those who would have been off work due to injuries sustained in an RTC.

Titan71
Titan71
6 months ago
Reply to  Mick

There’s so many things that cash could’ve been spent on. Combine that cash with the money spent on Drakefords radio sculpture and the millions tied up in property that was bought for demolition to allow vast improvements to our road network, a network Drakeford and his cronies decided wasn’t going to happen, and the pot of cash is huge. The NHS could’ve kept hospitals open, the roads could’ve been fixed and upgraded, we could’ve even had shopmobility in the capitol city, a service that was cut due to lack of funding by the Welsh govt. Labour mismanagement of public funding… Read more »

CapM
CapM
6 months ago
Reply to  Titan71

There are quite a few reasons for not voting Labour that doesn’t mean 20mph limits are not an improvement.

Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago
Reply to  Mick

To encourage more people to drive … one of the reasons behind the reduction is to encourage people to walk / cycle for very local journeys.

Glenis Hall
Glenis Hall
6 months ago
Reply to  Mick

A Witch has a broomstick! Which.

Adrian
Adrian
6 months ago

Welsh tories correction

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago
Reply to  Adrian

There are no Welsh tories. Just tories.

Paul
Paul
6 months ago

Cymru am byth..20 it is get used to it.

Alun Gerrard
Alun Gerrard
6 months ago

Not a bad response so far considering the Drakeford used only 1,000 signatures on an on-line poll with dubious questions and comments …it scored 60% for the 20drakeford camp. Many non-labour members of the WG and Senedd supported the claim…but not in our name. Population of Wales is just over 3.1 million…a 1,000 is a very low poll.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Alun Gerrard

Opinion polls are often based on a sample of a thousand people, and it’s an indistry standard. Sampling a thousand people in Cymru would make it far more representative than a poll taken in England with a poll sample of a thousand.

And, contrary to what you claim, the poll you refer to was undertaken by Beaufort Research, as reputable a social research company as you’re likely to find, and the questioning was balanced contained no bias.

Jonathan Stanway
Jonathan Stanway
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

And it’s very possible that people could change their mind once they had seen it working in practice on a large scale.

A lot of concerns could be addressed with more exemptions, hopefully that’s what the petition will generate

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago

I doubt the petition will achieve very much, Basically is people really want to change things like this then they will have to engage in the democratic process, but that takes effort wheras clicking a few buttons to add one’s name to an online petition (and let’s not forget that many of those signing will be from countries outside Cymru) takes very little effort. All that gaining the numbers that petition has reached achieves is that it will be considered for discussion in the Senedd: it is no guarantee of even that, if the petitions committee decide not. I doubt… Read more »

Mike
Mike
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Wawers – You’re very vocal without actually having much to say. You sound like you were part of the team responsible for pushing it through. Opinion polls are, as the OP suggested and you alluded to with your example, completely pointless. Be it in England or Wales or anywhere else, a small sample does not the gen-pop opinion reflect. A decision that impacted the whole country should have been put to referendum. That is the ONLY way to gain a true representation of public opinion. However, had they done that, the outcome would obviously have been different and WG were… Read more »

Last edited 6 months ago by Mike
Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike

but a referendum would have been hugely expensive Mike.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago
Reply to  Mike

“had they done that, the outcome would obviously have been different”

And you know this how?

Richard 1
Richard 1
6 months ago

Yesterday and this morning Llandrindod feels a saner place with a very high degree of compliance on the main road. One person last night driving at 50mph (my estimate) may have been an emergency worker, let me be fair, but the type of car and the noisy exhaust said “attention-seeking idiot”.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard 1

I find myself completely bemused at the negative reaction to the implementation of the 20 mph limit, with some really wild claims being made, one could be forgiven for thinking that this will lead to the immanent collapse of western civilisation. It’s certainly provided grist for the extreme-right mill, and this seems to be reflected even in the Senedd petition this article is the subject of. The claims made in the petition, apart from being slightly delusional, presents no evidence to support the claims of the author of the petition, only anecdotal claims based on their personal experience. The Welsh… Read more »

Greedy Goldfish
Greedy Goldfish
6 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

I’m with you on that. I’m also completely bemused by some of the wild, negative comments. Imagine being so vehemently against a piece of legislation that improves the quality of life of residents and pedestrians, reduces the probability of accidents occurring whilst increasing the chance of survival when accidents do occur. There are some very unhinged people out there. Amazingly, they are allowed to drive.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Likewise Wrexham on Day One. People sticking to the new speed limit. Certainly shouldn’t be a problem in the smaller towns and villages. Fuss over nothing.

Windy
Windy
6 months ago

Why are we bothering with any sort of elected government when we could turn Westminster and the devolved parliamentary houses into flats for the homeless if the four countries could be governed by a petition started by anybody with some sort of grievance politically led or otherwise

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Windy

Slippery slope towards to dictatorship.

Mick
Mick
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

How true could never understand how Hitler took control but looking at this lot ( you can. Let’s hope people start to wake up

Glen
Glen
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Wales is a one party state that amounts to the same.

Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago
Reply to  Glen

and so is Westminster.

Windy
Windy
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

It was meant as a tongue in cheek response to what I believe that some petitions are politically led

Ianto
Ianto
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Dictatorship? But we could vote them out and give those trustworthy Tories a bash, I suppose.

defaid
defaid
6 months ago
Reply to  Windy

The number of dislikes suggests the humour escaped a few!

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago

In Cornwall, the Tory controlled council is implementing ,a” key manifesto pledge” for a blanket 20mph limit on all residential streets by2026. Tory controlled North Lincolnshire council has started rolling out the 20 mph limit. I could report more Tory councils doing the same, the Tory party in Cymru seem out of step with its masters in England.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
6 months ago

You were only meant to blow the bl**dy doors off…

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago

Conservative Party are not clear on what to do with manifesto pledges (they usually ignore them or write ones that are vague and meaningless). Which is why this must confuse them. This is one that has been kept, I know that keeping pledges is not in the Conservative Party lexicon and they are trying to understand what this means. Had labour not done this by next election then the Tory in Wales would be screaming from the roof tops that Labour are just Like Tory and don’t keep promises. Now its “but but but but but…..” Would like to understand… Read more »

Tim Saunders
Tim Saunders
6 months ago

This is the speed limit that the Cornish, er, Tories want to introduce.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  Tim Saunders

Phil from ‘A Different Bias’ You Tube channel exposed Andrew RT Davies as a total hypocrite in this regards.

Ianto
Ianto
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

and not just in this regards.

Iago
Iago
6 months ago

With around 2,558,000 people of driving age in Wales can we presume only 1.95% of people want to see it scrapped?

Roderich Heier
Roderich Heier
6 months ago

I think it’s worth pointing out that this petition is open for anybody to sign, including those who do not live in Cymru. I could have signed it and I live in Wiltshire.

Glen
Glen
6 months ago
Reply to  Roderich Heier

It is the same with all Senedd petitions.

We must be the only country in the world that allows outsiders to influence government policy.

Mawkernewek
6 months ago
Reply to  Glen

Don’t underestimate the utility from the government point of view of redirecting online activism / dissent into the safely ignorable channel of an epetition.

Last edited 6 months ago by Mawkernewek
Bethan
Bethan
6 months ago
Reply to  Glen

Yes. While I think this particular petition is very silly. It does raise this issue which I feel is much more serious. It’s interesting that the 20mph policy has been in Welsh news and common knowledge in Wales for ages and people have grumbled but there hasn’t been an enormous deep seated outrage. Today it is all over English McMedia and low and behold. A seething petition is hot off the press with thousands of people suddenly weighing in with as much consideration as they would for voting off a contestant on a reality TV show. Wales really needs to… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
6 months ago
Reply to  Roderich Heier

Many from over Clawdd Offa will be signing it, furious that it takes them that tiny bit longer to reach Playground Wales.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
6 months ago
Reply to  Rhufawn Jones

Far fewer are coming. Look at the figures it is so much cheaper to go elsewhere.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
6 months ago

Those are my favourite anti-Wales comments on social media news platforms: idiots ‘threatening’ to never come on holiday to Wales again because the WG or a Welsh local authority have had the temerity to introduce some pro-Wales legislation.

Bwgan
Bwgan
6 months ago
Reply to  Roderich Heier

You can filter the petition results on the map to show supporters by country and unfortunately only a small percentage of the total singed live in England, Scotland or Northern Ireland. Sorry for the bad news but it seems all the crazies actually reside in Wales. On a more positive note, in terms of the population, none of the Welsh counties have more than 5% supporting this stupid Tory petition so I doubt it will come to anything.

Glen
Glen
6 months ago

Welsh Government ministers have said the new road regulation will result in fewer deaths and save the NHS around £92m every year.

They should put this on a side of a bus so we can remind them of it in few years.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
6 months ago

The new legislation is only a problem for those that still drive old combustion engine vehicles. Our towns and villages have winding roads where slowing down to even 15mph is the safest speed and not to terrorise residents in their villages. Having to keep changing gears to match road speeds etc. Not to mention to noise and vibration from these machines. It is the technology that needs updating. We know that by 2040 we will be well on our way to electrification of transport, the sooner the better. It is easier, more efficient, and cleaner. From the moment I passed… Read more »

Paddy
Paddy
6 months ago

Disastrous?

One day is a little soon to draw that conclusion.

Douglas Goldsmith
Douglas Goldsmith
6 months ago

As there is no credible political opposition it’s the latest unchallenged political statement, same unfortunately has been seen with the conservative led London parliament and the London mayor

Dmg
Dmg
6 months ago

Guess again, nearly 100k signed it now.

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago
Reply to  Dmg

I expect the number to exceed the population of Cymru, within the week.

saveenergy
saveenergy
6 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

the population of Cymru is ~ 3.1 million

120,363 signatures at 23:46 18/09/23

Nylock
Nylock
6 months ago

Have any of the theorists and pedestrians on here tried driving today. The signage is an absolute shambles. All 30s have not just become default 20s overnight, there seems some logic in some stretches of roads, schools etc. However the ones that have remained 30mph have minimal signage so we must assume they are 20. I was in Swansea today around the retail area ring road, most guys doing 20. Then I get to a roundabout and every road from it is 30. So people are stuck doing 20 unnecessarily so as not to risk a ticket. Later, on the… Read more »

Bethan
Bethan
6 months ago

Have a day off Tories. It’s exhausting listening to incessant griping about every little change that happens that might minutely affect their cushy lifestyles. It’s being angry for angers sake and it is so toxic. Things are changing because things have to change. Get over it. The Tories sound utterly unhinged at this point. The conspiracy theories and delusions. Get a grip. There’s no point in trying to reason with mindsets like this. It’s just one bananas statement after another. Everything has to be a 100.

McSaes
McSaes
6 months ago

50k+! I had no idea there were that many Tories in Wales.
Ashgar and her chums will support anything that they think might buy them a vote.

McSaes
McSaes
6 months ago
Reply to  McSaes

Asghar, even!

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  McSaes

134k now. Rather suspect a lot of doublers and gaming the petition now. Word got out in motoring forums and Tory supporters?

Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago

Yes driving at 20 mph makes me feel like a numpty … but Im prepared to put others / the environment before my need to get to the shops / work 2 mins sooner!

What alarms me most is how , as a society, we’ve become so inconsiderate in the last 30/40 years. Its me, me, me – these days, hardly anyone asks – what can I do to make things better?

Dafydd
Dafydd
6 months ago

First noticed yesterday, that the 20 mph limit now makes it far easier to pull out of junctions within our town. Thankyou.

Linda Redfern
Linda Redfern
6 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Nor so easy uf a pedestrian, the fumes are nasty.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
6 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Dw i’n cytuno. I found driving through Wrexham easier, less stressful, and safer yesterday.

K Rae
K Rae
6 months ago

It’s only a couple of days old, but living in North Wales all I’ve noticed is that the streets are a more pleasant place to be. Not affected my commute time or been difficult to adhere to whilst driving.

Peter Lane
Peter Lane
6 months ago

I would rather start paying for my doctors proscriptions again rather than put up with this new speed limit. and I am on regular medication for blood pressure. I am voting Conservative now in local elections.

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
6 months ago
Reply to  Peter Lane

Why? The tories were in favour of this change and have now switched in order to grab a few votes.

They would no more rescind it than the tories in Cornwall or Lincolnshire, who are busy introducing 20 limits across their areas.

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