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Senedd to debate record breaking 20mph petition today

22 May 2024 3 minute read
The total signatures racked up by the 20mph Senedd petition.

Emily Price

A debate on a record breaking petition signed by almost half a million people calling for Wales’ 20mph default speed limit to be scrapped will take place in the Senedd later today.

The controversial road regulation was rolled out in September last year.

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 policy led to several protests and the vandalisation of 20mph road signs.

A Senedd petition calling for the Welsh Government to “rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law” collected 469,570 signatures – the most in Senedd history.

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

Anti-20mph protesters are expected to gather in Cardiff Bay as Welsh politicians debate the petition in the Senedd’s Siambr on Wednesday afternoon (May 22).

Axed

Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar has been at the forefront of Tory calls for the default to be axed.

She said: “Labour’s barmy 20mph speed limit sadly looks like it is here to stay and regardless of Labour’s recent PR tour claiming things will change it is apparent that nothing will change.

“That is why today, I look forward to standing up for the people of Wales in the Senedd when the 20mph speed limit petition, that has reached nearly half a million signatures, will be debated.

“The Welsh Conservatives have been clear from the very beginning; we would scrap Labour’s 20mph speed limit and get Wales moving again.”

‘Blanket’

The Standards Commissioner cleared Tory leader Andrew RT Davies in January of breaching the Senedd’s rules for describing Wales’ default 20mph speed limit as a “blanket” policy.

The Commissioner concluded that although use of the word to describe the road regulation was ‘imprecise and inaccurate” – it was not synonymous with being untruthful.

In a recent development the Senedd’s Llywydd Elin Jones told Senedd Members not to use the word “blanket” when referring to the 20mph policy.

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.

In a partial u-turn last month, Cabinet Secretary for Transport, Ken Skates announced 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 man behind the 20mph Senedd petition, Mark Baker, said the announcement doesn’t go far enough.

He said: “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.”


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Jeff
Jeff
12 days ago

Cap’n Blanket will be tub thumping and directing the orchestra again.

Karl
Karl
12 days ago

Now an English voters parliament then. As it has been proven not to be Welsh residents who are behind this. Something needs to change to make the Senedd only represent those residing in Cymru fulltime.

Ap Kenneth
12 days ago

I am sure that the two who signed saying they were from North Korea will be greatly affected by speed limits in Wales as will the other 28,280 who also live outside of Wales.
Pity we do not get a breakdown by postcode as that might throw up some interesting anomalies.Doubt as many would be bothered to sign now as it becomes just another background thing to daily life and the shock of the new withers away.

Gareth
Gareth
12 days ago

Could MS Asghar explain how is it ” Labours barmy 20mph limit” when it is being implemented by Tory councils all over England, and why Torys in England are campaigning for this law in England, while simultaneously opposing it here with ” Facebook ” campaigns.

Glen
Glen
12 days ago

So is there any statistical evidence yet that shows a marked decrease in traffic accidents since the limit was introduced, and how much of the ‘£100million in the first year’ that it was claimed would be saved by NHS Wales as a result has been accounted for?

You can’t have a debate without the facts.

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