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Senedd set to debate record breaking 20mph petition

20 May 2024 3 minute read
20mph zone

Emily Price

Protesters will gather on the steps of the Senedd this week as Welsh politicians prepare to debate the record breaking anti-20mph petition.

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

It saw most 30mph roads switch to 20mph in built up areas in Wales – a pledge that was part of the Labour Party’s 2021 manifesto.

The Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Ken Skates announced a partial u-turn on the policy in April following backlash and some roads are expected to revert back to 30mph following consultation.

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.

‘Disasterous’

The petition calling on the Welsh Government to scrap the “disastrous 20mph law” was launched by Mark Baker.

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

The debate will take place in Cardiff Bay on Wednesday (May 22).

Gathering

Members of the Senedd Lobby Group plan to gather outside the Welsh Parliament in protest against the road regulation.

They say nine months on from the 20mph roll out, the public has not become used to it – and never will.

A Welsh Government source indicated that the speed limit is here to stay despite the number of people who signed the petition which surpassed the number of those who voted for Labour in the 2021 Senedd election (443,047 votes).

Following claims that the petition had been being tampered with, an investigation was launched last year to look at where signatures were coming from.

There was some evidence of 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.

Voices

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.”

The minister who spearheaded the roll out of the 20mph policy, Lee Waters, was recently named as one of the top political change makers in the UK for his contribution to environmental causes.

The Welsh Government says the default will save the NHS money and have cited a study by Imperial College which found that 20mph limited areas were “pollution-neutral”.

Minsters expect the lower speed limit to encourage more people to choose active ways to travel which will lead to fewer polluting cars on the roads.


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Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
26 days ago

If we let them get away with this assault on our freedom, they will try and make us all wear seat-belts!

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
26 days ago

As the main Tory spokesperson on this issue, I would like to hear Natasha Asghar condemn the widespread vandalism and criminal damage of the 20mph signs. Failing to do so amounts to condoning it.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
26 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Also, maybe she could ask her leader to confirm if all other parts of the UK have a ‘blanket’ 30mph limit.

Jeff
Jeff
26 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

Orders from No10. I would expect a capable politico to say lets run with it, obey the law, will examine the benefits and if the benefits don’t appear then we will fight it.

Instead they have tried to run it down and reduce peoples adherence to the law (Uxbridge effect), don’t forget Natasher Asghar will not get the fine for Mr/Mrs Bloggs caught in a 20, neither will ARTD. And we now have a party trying to ruin wales through face book campaigns.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
26 days ago
Reply to  Fi yn unig

I personally have no strong feelings either way about the 20 mph speed limit.
You are quite right to call Natasha Asghar out on the issue of vandalism because hasn’t the Tory party always called themselves the Party of Law and Order.

Blinedig
Blinedig
26 days ago
Reply to  Johnny Gamble

I didn’t either, until three separate near misses with young pedestrians in the space of one week, in three different places. Two young children ran out in front of me, and then three more who had been playing around a bus stop. I dread to think what might have happened if I hadn’t have been doing twenty mph.

Jeff
Jeff
26 days ago

Make sure all the multiple accounts from one computer listen in. That sunderland councillor going to be there?

Last edited 26 days ago by Jeff
A.Redman
A.Redman
26 days ago

“Pollution Neutral”? Where are the recent verifiable facts to support this comment.If it is true then the problem of noxious fumes is invalidated. How can it be that cars and lorries etc. in long queues travelling at 20mph don’t produce more pollution in built up areas than if they were traveling at 30mph? If this is the case then why are diesel and petrol vehicles to be banned in the not too distant future?

Why vote
Why vote
26 days ago

Well we have an election coming up there will be an opportunity to rid wales of this oppressive labour government once and for all forcing 20mph on us forcing PR voting on us forcing senedd expansion on us next we will be forced to use LEZ and pay per mile on the roads cycling will be forced to get tax insurance and registration, labour have been in power for far to long ans seem to belive they know best and we the voters must do as we are told, when this debate fails to correct this control by this labour… Read more »

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
26 days ago
Reply to  Why vote

You might have noticed (but I doubt it), that the upcoming election is for the English parliament.m The one where the tories have been in power for 14 years.

Why vote
Why vote
26 days ago

Did I forget to put in 2026 I thaught there might be one there always is. And the Labour party they are the ones on wales have been in power for 25 years all they have done for the population is the free prescription scheme, no independence and that might never happen as long as the gravy train from Westminster is running.

Jeff
Jeff
26 days ago
Reply to  Why vote

They tried the Uxbridge effect in the London Mayoral election and the ULEZ moaners got their butts handed them on a plate.

But you ticked all the boxes there for project fear from Tory HQ. I noticed last week that they were dribbling over cyclists trope with IDS leading the charge. What party is he in?

Swn Y Mor
Swn Y Mor
26 days ago
Reply to  Jeff

I think there was a bit more to it than that. Susan Hall was a poor candidate who ran a negative campaign. Rivers of blood tweet like, ‘Londonistan’ tweet in a multicultural city like London, what were the Tories thinking?

Was it not Khan who said ‘voters are b******’ back in 2015, and voted for 42 days detention without trial? Maybe there was no votes in it but surely the Tories could have bought it up?

Karl
Karl
26 days ago

Fake petition from England.Says it all for me

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