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Shadow Minister suggests selling Cardiff Airport to pay for reversal of 20mph default speed limit

29 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Cardiff Airport – Image: Goggle. Inset image: Natasha Asghar MS

Emily Price

Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar has suggested selling off Cardiff Airport to fund a reversal of Wales’ 20mph default speed limit.

She made the suggestion on X, formerly Twitter, during a to and fro with another social media user who quizzed her on where she would find the cash to change 20mph signs back to 30mph if her party were in power.

In her post, Ms Asghar said: “Let’s sell Cardiff Airport that’ll save a write-off value of £42.6million which is currently being done by Welsh Labour.

“I have the tenacity to make cuts in various areas of transport and use the money in areas where it’s actually needed.”

In September, Wales became the first country in the UK to roll out a default 20mph speed limit for residential roads.

It saw most roads in Wales that were 30mph switch to 20mph although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.

Protect lives

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the limit from 30mph to 20mph will protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92m a year.

However, the controversial limit has been met with fierce opposition and a petition calling for it to be reversed has reached over 466,000 signatures – the most in Senedd history.

The Welsh Conservatives have heavily opposed the change due to its cost and the party has promised voters that if they were ever in power in Wales, they would axe it.

Following an anti-20mph protest on the steps of the Senedd on Tuesday (November 28), in a post on X the Shadow Transport Minister said the Welsh Conservatives will “stand up” for motorists and “scrap” the 20mph speed limit which has cost the Welsh Government an estimated £33m.

Road signs

She later suggested selling Cardiff Airport in order to claw back the money spent on the default limit and change 20mph signs back to 30mph.

Cardiff Airport was bought by the Welsh Government for £42m in March 2013 and it’s operated at arms length as a commercial business.

But passenger numbers have fallen over the last decade and the airport’s value has plummeted by £37m.

Ms Asghar told Nation.Cymru she thought that selling the airport to “someone who actually knows what they are doing” will free up cash to spend in other areas such as the NHS and “scrapping 20mph speed limits”.

She said: “Labour ministers have been frittering away eye-watering amounts of taxpayer cash on vanity projects for years.

“They’ve pumped some £200m into the failing Cardiff Airport, handed over £125m to Transport for Wales whilst cutting other important budgets, spent £33m on ridiculous 20mph speed limits and are now drawing up plans to expand the Senedd which comes with a £120m price tag.

“With the airport not expected to reach a level of profitability until 2029, selling it to someone who actually knows what they are doing would not only help turn the airport’s fortunes around, but it would also free up vital cash to spend in other areas, such as our NHS and scrapping 20mph speed limits.

“Opposition to Labour’s 20mph scheme continues to grow at rapid speed with nearly half-a-million people signing a petition to have it scrapped.

“Only the Welsh Conservatives will stop attacking motorists and axe this ludicrous 20mph policy.”

A Welsh Government Spokesperson said: “In common with many parts of the UK, the introduction of 20mph limits in residential areas is designed to save lives.”


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Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago

Who exactly is she going to “sell the airport” to?

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

See PPE contracts.
Probably a line of lobby people official and back channel putting in suggestions. Buyers can add it to the football club collection and newspapers.

Interestingly she is not suggesting it goes to NHS.

Sarah Good
Sarah Good
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

We don’t think she’s actually thought this through do we?

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Sarah Good

Same thought as running for London mayor. Dedication to the job eh.

Keith Woods
Keith Woods
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Well some thicko in Cardiff bought it , at our expense

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago
Reply to  Keith Woods

And made a far better fist of it than the previous private owners.

Have you ever used the airport?
Are you aware of the 2040 Masterplan?

Uri Nator
Uri Nator
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

The 2040 Masterplan is dead now. It’s been taken off the airport’s website. Central to the plan for growing the airport were transport infrastructure upgrades, which have since been cancelled. The M4 relief road at Newport and improved access from the west of at junction 34 of the M4 being 2 of them. The rail links to the airport were also going to be enhanced, particularly the frequency of the trains. There’s no sign of that happening anytime soon now. The T9 bus service – the express bus linking Cardiff city centre to the airport – was another feature supporting… Read more »

David
David
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Quite a lot of us will be dead by 2040.Its now we want to use the airport.To get away for a while from this useless bunch in the Senedd.

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago

What else will they sell. This is the Tory mo. Flog the lot off until there is nothing left but make sure the proles carry the can.
However, “attacking the motorist” that is the province of her party HQ. They barely scrape through one election (Uxbridge, majority wiped out) and this is the route they see to a win?
Car running costs continue to rocket under a Conservative Party. 20mph is not my problem as a car owner, it is the costs.
File this under “meat tax” and “7 bins” and something about “fighting” from head sword carrier.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
6 months ago

There is a huge risk that selling the airport could lead to its closure, considering it could take until 2029 to make a profit. But of cause that is not something that would concern the Tories, so long as they look like they are ‘helping’ the poor old motorist.(and of course collecting a few handy votes on the way). The party is doing itself no favours by harping on about this when there are so many other issues affecting people. What are their views on helping people from january who face further energy cost rises? Are they pressurising their masters… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
6 months ago
Reply to  Steve A Duggan

Prime building site for flats. Nice views over the estuary.

Keith Woods
Keith Woods
6 months ago
Reply to  Jeff

I think you’ll find its called a Channel

End the UK
End the UK
6 months ago

Talk about finding issues where there are none.

Why doesn’t she ask for taxes to be devolved for the airport so we can capitalize on it. Or does she favour Bristol over Cymru. Funny, I thought she worked for Cymru not england

Fusilier
Fusilier
6 months ago
Reply to  End the UK

No issue ? , pumping millions into a white elephant , would you be happy to dismiss if it was private company ?

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
6 months ago

The Tories want Wales to be dependent on most thinks like Bristol is favoured if the Westminster government let Cardiff airport with Bristol on a level playing field it would at bring Operators in Wales needs to be an independent country with its own Airport you can see the Tory supporting filth on here he would sell their souls Little Englanders Quislings Traitors call them whatever those names fit

Rhddwen y Sais
6 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Same with hospitals. English hospitals provide healthcare for the people of Wales because devolved gealthcare in Wales can’t.

John. 6
John. 6
6 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

If Wales needs it’s own airport, why does the Welsh government do nothing to make it attractive to fly from? The constantly refuse to lower departure tax, refused to run a train line there and the road to get there has in many places become 20mph. Seems more like they want it to fail, then they can claim they’re saving the world.

Johnny Gamble
Johnny Gamble
6 months ago
Reply to  John. 6

Most of what you say about Cardiff airport is spot-on John.
The Welsh government however has no control of taxation as unlike Scotland and Northern Ireland APD has not been devolved to Cymru.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago
Reply to  John. 6

Air Passenger Duty Tax (APD) is not devolved to the Senedd.

There is a train line that goes there. There’s a bus too.

I have 3 routes in/out by road to the airport. If you are worried about the lower speed limit, simply allow more time to get to the airport. There are 20mph roads to Heathrow too.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago
Reply to  John. 6

Your comment demonstrates all that is wrong with Wales. A lack of Welsh media scrutinising our politicians both in Cardiff Bay and London, blurring out what is or is not devolved. This allows the Tories to blame Welsh Labour for their own failures on non-devolved matters, and yet people will eat this up. And yes, this works both ways. Labour do the same, blaming the Tories in Westminster for their own failings. Air Passenger Duty is not devolved in Wales, it is devolved in both Scotland and Northern Ireland as Johnny Gamble points out, the Welsh Government have been trying… Read more »

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
6 months ago

Urgh this chancer again. Anything for attention. When the Tories are decimated in the next election, I wonder if she’ll jump ship?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago

Suggesting something that ain’t gonna happen to change something that ain’t gonna happen. Thanks for the non contribution.

Rob
Rob
6 months ago

Natasha why don’t you go after your own party to help the airport. How about devolving Air Passenger Duty like they have done in both Scotland and Northern Ireland and tell Bristol to take a hike?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Why? Because she would like to leave our country without any international airport and build high end housing on the land which none of us can afford to buy then shut down our Parliament and designate Bristol, where our main airport would be, as the capital of Wales.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago

Natasha may want to look at the airport the last time it was privately owned.

British Airways wanted a slice of the low cost airline market, so they created their own, called “Go”.

Go approached the Cardiff private owners and asked if they could base themselves there. The private owners said “No!”.

Go popped over to Bristol and asked their private owners if they could base themselves there. The private owners said “Yes!”.

Go didn’t last long, it got bought out by EasyJet.

Just think what Cardiff Airport could’ve had, or might’ve had.

Fusilier
Fusilier
6 months ago
Reply to  Nobby Tart

Yeah and when it was private it should have stood on its own 2 feet, so why the need to use taxpayers money to support something that the majority of Welsh people have never nor will use

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
6 months ago
Reply to  Fusilier

Have you ever used the airport?
I’ve used it plenty of times and it’s an excellent airport.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
6 months ago

She shouldn’t be piping up about anything until she has explained her racism remarks aimed at Plaid Cymru.

lufcwls
lufcwls
6 months ago

It’s going to reach profit in 2029? Keep it then! That’s not far off.

Fusilier
Fusilier
6 months ago
Reply to  lufcwls

LOL

Karl
Karl
6 months ago

Very few are sticking to the 20 mph, so those moaning are fools breaking the law. Still don’t see the relivence of the 20 limit to the current awful situation of not having a decent airport within Cymru. That pushed you into paying the weird enviromental tax of the border of bristol to get get a nearby flight or go down the M5 and backtrack to avoid the tax and so undermining the concept of less car travel.

G Horton-Jones.
G Horton-Jones.
6 months ago

Our friends have just seen a three year old in the middle of the road to Tenby All traffic stopped and child reunited with its mother who was unaware it had left the home

Chris
Chris
6 months ago

Why do we need to sell an airport to fund the NHS? Where’s their share of the 18 billion quid we saved when we left the EU?
More Tory nonsense… When will it end?

Bernie
Bernie
6 months ago

Hope she doesn’t represent the level of intelligence of all the tory Senedd members ?

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