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Welsh Government denies Tory claims of further speed limit changes

15 Sep 2023 4 minute read
Natasha Asghar MS during the Welsh Conservatives 20mph debate.

Emily Price

The Welsh Government has denied claims by the Tories that further plans are being made to alter other default speed limits in Wales.

On Wednesday evening (September 13) the Welsh Conservatives forced a vote in the Senedd in an attempt to scrap the new road regulation which will see the default speed limit on restricted roads in Wales change from 30mph to 20mph.

Following the debate, Welsh Conservative Senedd Members voted against the new 20mph default speed limit, whilst Labour and Plaid Cymru MSs voted in support of the roll out

The new default speed limit will officially come into force on Sunday (September 17).

During the debate, Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar asked the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters whether more alterations would be made to other default speed limits in Wales.

The shadow transport minister said she had asked the question a number of times but had not received an answer.

Reform

Ms Asghar referred to an email she had received from a Welsh council which indicated that over the coming months further guidance would be released by the Welsh Government on possible changes to other speed limits.

She asked: “Are 20 mph limits just the tip of the iceberg, and should residents expect to see this Government ramp up its anti-driver agenda going forward?

“I ask, because for anyone who missed this yesterday, a councillor in north Wales e-mailed a resident, saying, and I quote, ‘Over the next 12 to 18 months, further Welsh Government guidance is going to be provided to enable further speed changes to be reviewed, for example, for 40mph, 50mph, and national speed limit roads.’ I hope that an answer is forthcoming from the Deputy Minister about this today.”

During the debate, the Deputy Minister did not confirm or deny whether the Welsh Government planned to change other default limits.

Mr Waters said the Conservatives had been against “every progressive reform” in the country.

No plans

He said: “They were opposed to the creation of the NHS, they opposed the creation of minimum wage, they were against the ban on smoking in public places. They were even against votes for women. They are always on the wrong side of history and they never learn.”

Following the debate, Nation Cymru asked the Welsh Government: “Are there any further plans to alter other speed limits?”

A Welsh Government spokesperson responded with one line: “We don’t have any plans to change other default limits.”

In response, Natasha Asghar, Member of the Welsh Parliament for South East Wales, and Shadow Minister for Transport, said: “Labour’s anti-driver agenda has been laid bare for all to see with this deeply unpopular and expensive blanket 20mph speed limit plan, its ban on road building and mooted congestion charge scheme.

“Many fear this is just the tip of the iceberg with more drastic changes looming after a council let slip the Welsh Government is set to release details ‘to enable further speed changes to be reviewed for example for 40mph, 50mph and National Speed Limit Roads.’

“Instead of trying to find a way to punish drivers at every available turn, Labour ministers must hit the brakes on their war against motorists and work to provide a top-quality transport network for all.”

Economy

An ITV Wales poll this week revealed that two thirds of people in Wales oppose the new 20mph default speed limit.

The Welsh Government expects it to result in 40 percent fewer road collisions, saving six to 10 lives every year and avoiding 1,200- 2,000 people being injured.

The Welsh Conservatives have warned the new speed limit will cost the economy in Wales billions of pounds.

But speaking at a Welsh Government press conference on Monday (September 11) Mark Drakeford said although there will be a one off cost of £32m, the road safety reform would save the NHS three times as much every year.


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Richard 1
Richard 1
7 months ago

Not anti-driver, Ms Asghar, pro-people, pro-life, pro-planet, pro commonsense.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
7 months ago

Ah…Asghar…the failed, London Mayor candidate.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
7 months ago
Reply to  Dai Rob

The failed London Mayor candidate for the very same city that already has 20mph zones (I know, I have driven them) and also intending to bring more 20mph zones in other London boroughs too.

Malcolm Jones
Malcolm Jones
7 months ago

What I’ve noticed that since the M4 motorway has had speed restrictions placed on it there seems to have been a lot of accidents on it somebody in authority in Wales should look into it to see if I’m correct

Gareth
Gareth
7 months ago
Reply to  Malcolm Jones

In 2022 casualties for road accidents in Wales rose by 2% from 2021 but were down 24% from 2019., so a net of safer roads. Cym.gov figures. Our roads seem to be getting safer. I am not an expert by you are incorrect.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&rct=j&opi=89978449&url=https://www.gov.wales/sites/default/files/statistics-and-research/2023-06/reported-road-casualties-2022-681.pdf&ved=2ahUKEwitjdKoua2BAxVXQEEAHYq3DA8QFnoECBsQAQ&usg=AOvVaw27htt6TDUMTc296MCFc8U1

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

It is better than smart motorways but there will be teething troubles as drivers constantly check their speedos…

Fast jet pilots will have huds (head up displays) directed on to the windscreens of their Morgans…

Company lorries, vans and cars will have governors fitted and eventually car speeds will be controlled by wireless connections from road sign to onboard computer…

A southern chum of mine popped into London the other day and a bill for 90 quid landed on her doormat today. Ulez, Ulez, Ulez…

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
7 months ago

Is it me or are the people of the Senedd getting bigger?

The canteen must give out extra big helpings…

Best canteens I got to use were in Rolls Royce Sentinel works and a children’s home in Cyfronydd now the country seat of a Tory Grandee I believe

Last edited 7 months ago by Mab Meirion
CJPh
CJPh
7 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

How dare you, suh. I will defend milady’s honour!

Tis all of society that is expanding (by gut, not number). Mayhaps a national roll out of a fitness and nutrition programme could be considered? Duw,its exhausting writing like that.

Erisian
Erisian
7 months ago

Just another dog whistle from a bunch of fossils with no ideas beyond self interest and no thought for 98% of the population

CJPh
CJPh
7 months ago
Reply to  Erisian

What’s the dog whistle here?

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