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Wales’ 20mph law due to ‘small-country syndrome’ compensating for ‘feelings of insignificance’ claims Telegraph

13 Jul 2022 3 minute read
20mph sign. Picture by Carmarthenshire County Council. Picture by Ashlee Ruggels / PA Wire. Mark Drakeford (right) Picture by Doubledoppler (CC BY-SA 4.0).

Wales’ new law that will allow councils to set a 20mph speed limit as a default option in urban areas is due to “small-country syndrome” according to a Telegraph columnist.

Journalist Sally Jones said that such “devolution derangement” was “designed to compensate for the leadership’s feelings of insignificance”.

Wales become the first UK nation to make the move towards a default 20mph speed limit in urban areas yesterday, in a move that the Welsh Government said would help to save lives, develop safer communities, improve the quality of life and encourage more people to ride a bike or use public transport.

Sally Jones said that “whole boroughs of London and swathes of other towns and cities in the UK are being colonised” by 20mph limits, but turned her wrath in particular on the Welsh Government.

“Wales is one of the most deprived areas of Europe, where, thanks to inadequate public transport, cars are vital for many workers, yet the scheme’s proponents still trot out the usual arguments,” she said.

She cited a recent Department for Transport survey claiming that cutting the urban speed limit to 20mph caused no “significant change” in casualty rates, and that 87 per cent of cars exceeded the speed limit on weekdays.

“This shocking statistic suggests that imposing the new limit could well criminalise the majority of Welsh drivers, who feel themselves quite capable of driving safely at 30mph, thank you very much, and resent their leaders’ bossy style,” she said.

“It demonstrates this Left-wing Welsh government’s passion for controlling every aspect of citizens’ lives, and is symptomatic of ‘devolution derangement’ – a specifically Welsh version of small-country syndrome, designed to compensate for the leadership’s feelings of insignificance.”

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‘Safer’

The new slower speed limits are currently being trialled in eight communities across Wales and will be rolled out nationally in September 2023.

The new legislation will not apply a blanket speed limit on all roads, it will simply make the default limit 20mph, leaving local authorities to engage with the local community to decide which roads should remain at 30mph.

Currently, just 2.5% of Welsh roads have a speed limit of 20mph, but from next year this is expected to increase to approximately 35%, helping to create safer roads and communities across Wales.

Last week travel campaigners urged the Senedd to back the plans, highlighting research which shows that pedestrians are 40 per cent less likely to die when hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared with one travelling at 30mph.

A survey conducted by the Welsh Government last November also found that 80 per cent of participants supported the plans, in particular parents or those with children in the household.

Backing the new speed limit, Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of the campaign group Living Streets, described the plans as “life-changing legislation”.

“When the speed limit is reduced from 30mph to 20mph there is typically an average decline in casualties of at least 20%,” he said.

“There are also benefits in terms of reduced noise and safer and more cohesive communities that are more pleasant to live in. People are also likely to be encouraged to walk or cycle more, which is good for their health and pollution levels.

“It’s simple: slower speeds save lives – and I urge Members of the Senedd to support the 20mph in the vote.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
29 days ago

TLDR: I don’t like journalists that are part of The English Establishment System* We must, unfortunately, become accustomed to batting away idiocy of this kind from The English Establishment System… It is my conviction that the people in Cymru can see through this kind of thing by now, I doubt that there are many amongst us who will easily fall this kind of “Wales-bashing” and will know it for the transparent nonsense that it is. In Cymru we have a long history of looking out for one another, we are not a utopia, but I think that the kinds of… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
29 days ago

Thanks Sally Jones, who says that, Wales is one of the most deprived areas of Europe. She goes on to say that large swathes of London are, ‘colonised’, by these 20 mile per hour zones. It’s fitting to see the words, colonized and most deprived used to describe two areas within a stones throw of one another. Where one is the most affluent area in Europe and the other the most deprived. Keep it up Sally of the Telegraph, you are a splendid indie recruitment mouthpiece, whatever your views on speed limits happen to be. Let our little nation syndrome… Read more »

GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
29 days ago

So a country of 3.1 million people isn’t small? What is it to them?

andrew r north
andrew r north
29 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

Bigger than estonia and latvia i believe. But the difference is they are not vassal states like wales is to england. Doff your caps folks.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago

It is a question of priorities Mark Drakeford…the health and wealth of these Islands…

Someone should ask the Torygraph why Indiana wants Penny Mordaunt?

Why does she want to sell out the NHS, Aerospace, Automotives and Pharmaceuticals to Indiana?

Is there not one single Tory in this government with any morals or loyalty to this country?

She wants the top job so she can sell billions of pounds worth of this country’s assets to Indiana…

Last edited 29 days ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

Penny Mordaunt is the caretaker Minister of any Portfolio. 2017 she takes over International Development from Patel, then 2018 she takes over Women and Equalities from Amber Rudd, then 2019 she takes over Defence from Gavin Williamson, then when Fat Shanks became PM she refused to work for him until 2020 when she rejoins the Cabinet as Paymaster General and then she is one of the Chairs of the EU Withdrawal Agreement Joint Committee, then 2021 she takes the job of Minister of State for Trade Policy, the latest brief being Indiana (see above), now there is every chance she… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

See Lord Frost’s comments about her on Guardian live feed just now…

Last edited 29 days ago by Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
29 days ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

It would be handy if N.C were able to fact check and/or rebut claims being made by the wanna be Top Dogs as they lie or avoid answering the questions being ask of them on the various media news sites over the border…for the sake of us here in Wales…

Paul
Paul
29 days ago

We have 50 kph limits in built up areas in Australia and 30 kph around school zones. They have very similar speed restrictions in Canada too
I would hardly regard Australia or Canada as small countries
What a load of !!!t

Richard 1
Richard 1
29 days ago
Reply to  Paul

So in Australia the speed limit near a school is 18.6 mph – lower than proposed for Wales.

George
George
29 days ago
Reply to  Richard 1

But aren’t the plans to make 20mph in all built up areas not just around schools?

Steve
Steve
26 days ago
Reply to  George

Do people miraculously disappear once you’re away from schools?

George
George
29 days ago

 “and that 87 per cent of cars exceeded the speed limit on weekdays.” But are those 87% exceeding the speed limit now? If 87% are cheating by 5-10 mph, then going at 25-30mph is presumably safer than 35-40mph. I’m not drawing any conclusions at the moment and still think 20mph feels very, very slow. What I would like is for 100 cars to have their speed continuously tested around Cardiff to see how often they’re driving at more than 20mph anyway or whether congestion means vast majority of time in car is spent at this speed or lower… I would… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
29 days ago

small country syndrome – says big mouthed banality. These panto journos working for the Anglo Brit supremacist MSM are by definition thick. They have to be to be prepared to trot out uncritical junk on tap at the request of their paymasters. There are still plenty of eejits here in Wales able and willing to swallow this junk so the mandate for sane people has to be to erode this mass of waffle consumers by showing them the way to Clawdd Offa or converting some of them. By the way I don’t agree with a blanket speed limit of 20… Read more »

Doctor Trousers
29 days ago

I’m quite happy to live in a small country where we discourage driving like twats and endangering lives, thank you.
When it comes to issues like speed limits, speed cameras, exhaust emissions etc, where individual behaviours actually can and do affect everyone else around you, tories will wheel out their faux-libertarian schtick about government intruding on personal freedoms.
Yet when it comes to genuine issues of personal choice, such as drug law reform, they continue to pander to an authoritarian minority with a disproportionate influence on election results.
Funny that.

Last edited 29 days ago by Doctor Trousers
Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
29 days ago

More sickening hate bile from an insignificant foot soldier of the tinpot Empire. If we are a deprived area of Europe, it’s down to our money being channelled away from our country into the tinpots’ tins and whatever anyone thinks of the speed limit law, it is OUR elected government making that law for OUR people in OUR country. Nothing to do with her.

Llefain
Llefain
29 days ago

Small-Country Syndrome vs Small D*** Energy? There is a real feel lately of “them” (the Anglo-establishment voices) trying to undermine our government, not just Labour, but our “small-country” ability to do anything for ourselves. No matter what it is. “Poor little Wales”, they say, “If only we could save them from themselves.” And once enough of them believe it hard enough, they will. We are a vanity to them. By keeping us (even in their imagination) as poor, weak, misguided, and pitiable, they feel they are strong. Everything we do is wrong, until they do it. By criticising us at… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Llefain
Hywel
Hywel
29 days ago

The lack of self awareness is strong with this one: “…thanks to inadequate public transport, cars are vital for many workers”

Well, let’s see here, a railway system built for colonial extraction of resources, thrown tablescraps from Westminster, oh and the biggest rail project in decades(+?) offering absolutely nothing to a country purportedly ‘benefitting’ from it. Hmmm.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
29 days ago

Actually, I’m glad these clowns are voicing their rubbish in the rightwing press. It shows they are scared of how progressive Cymru is becoming and what the country’s future will look like – a thriving, social, liberal, fair and considerate society – all the things the UK now isn’t.

Crwtyddol
29 days ago

What a load of cxxx!

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
29 days ago

On the contrary Miss Jones of the Telegraph, I feel very significant.

Cynan
Cynan
28 days ago

where are the policies on nhs and education????

Kenneth Vivian
Kenneth Vivian
24 days ago

And why has Wales been the most deprived country in Europe since defeating the English in 1485 to thus unite a smaller victorious minnow to a bullying whale?

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