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Tory MS calls for cool heads over 20mph speed limit

17 Aug 2023 3 minute read
Left: James Evans MS

Emily Price

A Tory MS has called for calmer waters on the debate of the new 20mph speed limit which will come into force in Wales next month.

James Evans MS said the debate has become ‘increasingly heated’ on social media and in the press and has urged the Welsh Government to listen to the ‘public outcry’ and scrap the new policy altogether.

The Welsh Government has said the 20mph speed limit on restricted roads is expected to result in 40 percent fewer road collisions, save six to 10 lives every year and avoid 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.

The Welsh Conservatives have been campaigning against the new policy after U-turning on their previous support for it.

Restricted roads are typically found in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity and are usually defined as having lampposts no more than half a mile apart.

The default speed limit will officially reduce on these roads from 30mp to 20mph from 17 September. But the Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Wellbeing has said people in Wales would rather reject the policy altogether.

Mr Evans said: “The debate has become increasingly heated with different factions coming to a head on social media and in the press. However, underpinning all of this is whether the people of Wales want to see this policy implemented.

“One consultation in Ceredigion resulted in 70% of respondents rejecting the policy all together and a senior South Wales Police officer has recently claimed that the blanket rule could have a potential “influence” on how fast police can travel and may affect how they respond.

“With an already dire response time amongst Ambulance services in Wales, due to the Welsh Government underfunding the NHS, this could put more lives at risk and undermine the work of our emergency workers, if true.”

Response times

A leaked email obtained by the BBC said that lowering the speed limit will affect the response time of police travelling to emergencies.

However, Assistant Chief Constable Mark Travis told the BBC he believes response times will not be affected.

Mr Evans added: “Just last week the First Minister informed the nation that Wales is currently facing the worst financial situation since devolution.

“We’ve also heard that the Welsh Government are unlikely to hit their climate targets for lowering CO2 emissions and we know through general knowledge that cars driving at a lower speed do so in a lower gear which is less efficient and more polluting.

“Based on public discourse, the current financial climate and the concerns of our emergency services, this policy has become completely untenable. Roughly costing the taxpayer £32.5 million between 2022-2027, the Welsh Government need to take a long hard look in the mirror and consider whether this is the best use of public money.”

The new speed limit comes after four years of work with local authorities, police and road safety experts to design a change in law, making Wales the first UK nation to reset the default speed limit for local roads.


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Rob
Rob
7 months ago

Rabble-rousing amongst the shallow end of the electorate is all they’ve got left.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
7 months ago

” ‘increasingly heated’ on social media ”
..that’s a synonym for “idiots chatting loudly about things they are ill-informed about”.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Even more astonishingly arrogant comment!

Frank
Frank
7 months ago

The government is lowering the speed limit to 20mph because driving at that speed is unlikely to damage our vehicles when we hit potholes. Allegedly, quite a large figure has been paid out recently to motorists whose cars have been damaged in this way. It’s got nothing to do with safety as they are claiming!! It’s all about cashing in on motorists exceeding the limit and also lowering payouts for damage. It’s a “cunning plan” as Baldrick used to say.

Rob
Rob
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

Wibble.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Rob

Phooey.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
7 months ago
Reply to  Frank

You don’t actually believe that do you?

Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
7 months ago

This is the limit Tories introduced first and used to support

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

Intelligent people can redeem themselves from error by recanting. The brainwashed Left hold fast to their harmful dogma.

CapM
CapM
7 months ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

From Western Mail
Mr Davies added: “Of course there are places where 20mph is the right thing to do like Sully in my electoral region. “

This anti 20mph strategy could backfire badly on the Tories. Unfortunately it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed on a 30mph road and then Davies will have to wriggle out of why he has a politically motivated stance on 20mph limits.

max wallis
max wallis
7 months ago

Cool Tory heads support 20mph “where needed”. Many Councils have agreed they are needed, by supporting only limited ‘exceptions’. Labour Councils in Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan have decided even where “needed” on the A48 though Ely Bridge and through St Nicholas village they’ll give exceptions because it’s a “high volume strategic Rd”. A cool Tory would condemn this, rather than whip up blanket opposition.

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

The media and the Tories are making the most of the police email saying response times may be affected by the 20mph speed limits. But people are forgetting that the police do cause accidents, sometimes fatal accidents, when they are responding to emergency calls.

2018-2019 – Four people were killed by police vehicles responding to emergency calls. I can’t find any more recent figures but I suspect that it would be less because of the pandemic.

Paul
Paul
7 months ago

My local Tory councillor was very pleased when he managed to get Swansea Council to implement a 20mph through the whole village a few years ago. Speedbumps too. They are so severe that you have to go over them at 10mph. Now the Tories are saying it shouldn’t happen.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
7 months ago

This journal really is a Lefty echo-chamber.

Windy
Windy
7 months ago

Anything that will reduce the number of accidents will benefit car owners through potentially lowering insurance premiums
Anything that will reduce the number of injuries and/or fatalities through vehicle accidents or collisions
How can anyone not support the reasoning behind these

Michael Henry
Michael Henry
7 months ago
Reply to  Windy

Nobody is going to get lower premiums. I can promise you that. 20mph is not saving anybody from anything that wouldn’t happen at 30. I don’t support this stupidity at all.

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