Shadow Minister suggests selling Cardiff Airport to pay for reversal of 20mph default speed limit
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.
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.
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.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.