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Welsh Government urged to re-think implementation of 20mph speed limit

22 Sep 2023 2 minute read
Rhup ap Iorwerth (L) 20 mph sign Photo Edinburgh Greens is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Plaid Cymru has urged the Welsh Government to review the impact of the new default 20mph restrictions throughout Wales, which were introduced last Sunday.

The party is also calling for a review of the guidelines that local authorities have been asked to follow.

Rhun ap Iorwerth MS, Plaid Cymru’s leader, argued that helping Local Authorities by empowering them to review and make further exemptions to some roads in a way which makes sense in that area, as well as providing the funding required to deliver that, could ease some public concerns about the proposals.

Heated

“The debate surrounding the 20mph legislation has been heated on both sides,” he said.

“Trading blows on Twitter will not allow us to move on in a sensible manner which balances safety with local needs.

“I want to see the Labour Welsh Government acting on the Plaid Cymru amendment which was supported by the Senedd last week, empowering communities to review and make further exemptions to roads in areas where that makes sense, but also taking immediate steps to review the actual guidelines which allow Local Authorities to make those exemptions.

“Councils nationwide should have more flexibility – for example, their ability to make exemptions should not be limited to A roads and B roads only.

“There are legitimate points on both sides of the debate, but we are now seeing some engaging in bad faith.

“I support the principle of introducing lower limits where they’re needed, but they need to work on the detail to garner more public support for this change so that fewer lives are lost on our roads each year.”

The introduction of the new speed limit has sparked a fierce backlash among some members of the public.

A petition launched calling for the repeal of the laws has passed 380,000 signatures, making it the most popular Senedd petition of all time.

Next week Lee Water’s, the minister who led the introduction of the new 20mph speed limit will face a Conservative no confidence vote.

Welsh Tory transport spokeswoman Natasha Asghar said: “His position is untenable, it’s time for him to go.”


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Helen Lewis
Helen Lewis
4 months ago

Sorry to see Rhun ap Iorwerth leaping on the anti 20mph bandwagon. This policy needs time to bed down. Only then can we really consider those areas where 20mph limit isn’t needed.
All parties voted for this presumably because they were convinced by the arguments. Why are the Tories and Plaid changing their minds now?

Cat
Cat
4 months ago
Reply to  Helen Lewis

I agree. Too many speed freaks upset by this when, if they only looked at their speedometer, they probably don’t get above 20mph in most towns anyway due to traffic lights and roundabouts. I’m not finding too much difference tbh and it will be lovely having tractors and trucks coming through the town at 20mph. This just needs time to bed in.

I went over the border to Wolverhampton last week I would have prayed for 20mph. The place was gridlocked.

owen williams barry
owen williams barry
4 months ago
Reply to  Helen Lewis

er its obvious why. its a deeply unpopular policy particularly with the working class. its a democracy so we have rthe right to protest and expect our elected representatives to change on the back of our wishes.
well done plaid for recognising thia. now they need to gp durther

Bill
Bill
4 months ago

I think you will find yourself in a minority.

owen williams barry
owen williams barry
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill

probably on this site i woild agree. but go into real world and speak to ordinary welsh men and women and u will find its the vast majority.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
4 months ago

The ‘vast majority’ had plenty of opportunity to oppose the proposal as it has been a Welsh Labour policy since at least 2020, and was clearly stated in its 2021 Senedd election manifesto.However, I suspect that the ‘vast majority’ of those now frothing at the mouth and screaming about a betrayal of democracy were the 54.4% of those who couldn’t be bothered to exercise their democratic right to vote in 2021’s Senedd elections.Furthermore, local authorities would have been consulted about the proposals, and discussed in council meetings, so electors would have had ample opportunity to discuss them with their local… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Padi Phillips
Bachgen o Lerpwl
4 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Yes but they had no idea the implementation and planning would be so poor. People are confused about speed limits in their own locality. Travellers are nonplussed.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
4 months ago

The planning and implementation wasn’t poor the proposals were self-explanatory. The proposal was that the default speed limit of 30mph was to be reduced to 20mph, except where there were local exceptions on A and B roads. What is confusing about that?

As for confusion about local speed limits, again it’s quite simple. Where there are streetlights, or indeed a sign, then the speed limit is 20mph unless there are signs informing otherwise.

It seems that there might be a case for including a test of cognitive ability as part of the driving test.

Bachgen o Lerpwl
4 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Signs informing you otherwise. HO HO HO. It is different on both sides of the road in different places for the same street with the same street lights. Face facts.

Richard E
Richard E
4 months ago

Generalisations either way are always a good indicator of embeded thought 🤫

Opps a generalisation !

Karl
Karl
4 months ago

Working lcass lol. That old nonsense, yawn. It’s unpopular will all speed freaks, no matter what creepy class system you use. For me as a resident living on a main Rd in a mid terraced house, it’s about time the road is safer and air quality improved.

Mike
Mike
4 months ago
Reply to  Karl

You need to do some studying. Lower gear higher revs for longer periods. FACT. Better air quality? Really?

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

The 20 mph works in my part of the world, I bet the residents in Abermaw are thankful for it…lovely driving through the mountains today a couple of minutes to admire the art work in Bethesda is time well spent. Politicians follow any sniff of votes so make your own minds up…

Alwyn Evans
Alwyn Evans
4 months ago

Read the full stories, not the headlines. The petition has NOT been rejected. The petitioner was offered the chance to put it before the Petitions Committee when the total was 100,000, but chose instead to have it continue for the full possible period to see how high he could ‘snowball’ it. It will be considered as soon as it is released to the Petitions Committee, who can then debate it, and if necessary return it to the Senedd. This entire farce is engineered by a disaffected Labour supporter, ably egged on by Tory ex-20mph supporter Andrew RT ‘Trump’ Davies

Dr Andrew Potts
Dr Andrew Potts
4 months ago
Reply to  Alwyn Evans

According to the Senedd website “if a petition gets 10,000 signatures, it will be considered for a debate in the Senedd”, so there’s no guarantee it will go forward.

Mandi A
Mandi A
4 months ago

By the Petitions Committee, all 5 or 6 of them. The petitioner has to put forward their case and background information to the Committee.

Dr Andrew Potts
Dr Andrew Potts
4 months ago

There has been plenty of time for the politicians to debate this and to genuinely engage with local authorities and their respective communities to assess potential impact (policies are meant to have an Integrated Impact Assessment completed and consultation to consider these things), yet it is only after a public furore that Plaid wakes up and ‘opposes’ its co-operation agreement bedfellow. Of course, every policy should be reviewed to ensure it’s having its desired effect but it hasn’t even been a week. As Alexandre Ledru-Rollin said “There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I… Read more »

Llyn
Llyn
4 months ago

Where has it been said that the Welsh Government has “dismissed calls for the (380,000 signature) petition to be debated.”? If the Senedd receives a petition it would surely be up to the Senedd not the Welsh Government to dismiss a petition and they have done nothing of the sort.

Dr Andrew Potts
Dr Andrew Potts
4 months ago
Reply to  Llyn

I agree with you but I’m quoting from the above article: “The Welsh Government has dismissed calls for the petition to be debated, however.”

Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas
4 months ago

Very worrying comment saying “Democracy is so over-rated” what do you propose instead?

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
4 months ago
Reply to  Andrew Thomas

I think it was an ironic comment, referring to the howling morons who are the large part of those who signed the petition when they have had ample chance to oppose the policy, not least when they had an opportunity to vote in 2021’s Senedd election – but probably didn’t bother.

Llyn
Llyn
4 months ago

Ok sorry. I see. The gov will have no say on whether it is debated or not.

Richard E
Richard E
4 months ago

Spot on Rhun. Leadership at last. This great initiative needs to take the public with it – not for a slow ride. Top down diktats never work – even well ,want ones. The Councils need to think, engage local communities and revise where necessary to fit local needs. You will never convince most Tory politicians who just seek to wreck after having supported- but the community empowerment envisaged by Gwynfor and the founders looked at trust in the people’s of Cymru through empowerment and respect . Set a tight schedule for local feedback and proposals to build on public safety… Read more »

Mandi A
Mandi A
4 months ago

Most Tory MSs in place to bring Senedd down as Farage tried to do in Brussels whilst taking the wages, pensions and chucking people’s right to representation in their faces. Look up each one of their back stories before you disagree.

Alan Evans
Alan Evans
4 months ago

What a load of towodel causing an immense damage to modern engines that were not designed to operate at this ridiculous speed and just a thought All bus timetables will have to altered and number of journeys possible in a period of time to be reduced.. What about the highway code that has no mention if the stopping distance at 20 mph so is a farce..As a former taxi driver can not imagine taking a drunken passenger home withoubeing given abuse for the speed of the journey

Richard E
Richard E
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Evans

A Taxi Driver !

Always a place to go for sensible and considered thought 😏 on any topic ?

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
4 months ago
Reply to  Alan Evans

Taxi/private hire drivers who in seemed to be quite happy breaking the 30 limit whenever they could, and who on our 20 mph road (past 5 years) have for years speeded up and down from their office.

Jeff H
Jeff H
4 months ago

Problem solved, abolish the welsh government, they have done more damage than good
Just look at the traffic on M4 at Newport, what a great job Drakeford and his cronies have done

Rob
Rob
4 months ago
Reply to  Jeff H

Err no vote out Labour.

Dafydd Thomas
Dafydd Thomas
4 months ago

Whilst Rhun ap Iorwerth is doing his best to pose as an unifier in this article, in truth he is merely revealing himself as a people pleaser. Those who work closely with him know this to be true about him. He finds it deeply uncomfortable to be disliked. Sadly, after some days of silence, his supporters here on Ynys Môn have been slowly coming out to defend the 20mph policy – which their party was in favour of, until it wasn’t – and now find he has pulled the rug from under their feet. Expect to see more of this… Read more »

Steffan Gwent
Steffan Gwent
4 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd Thomas

This is the poll tax moment for Plaid/Labour. Rhun ap Iorwerth is shrewd enought to now stop his party from being used as a political mudguard.

CapM
CapM
4 months ago
Reply to  Steffan Gwent

You made the same poll tax comment yesterday My reply from yesterday – “This is the poll tax moment for Plaid/Labour.” It’s like 1990 all over again. Hundreds of thousands on the streets complying with 20mph limits. No one arrested Mounted police ignoring convoys of cars It’s deja vu On the face of it Rh ap I’s latest input looks like him loosing his nerve. Given time I think people will appreciate the 20mph limits. Given more time Westminster will likely follow our lead. Lots of people are feeling the financial cost and all that’s associated with it. The petition… Read more »

jeff
jeff
4 months ago
Reply to  CapM

Interestingly the “poll tax” link seems to be doing the rounds. Someone somewhere picking in divisive moments from history and trying to work it in? Especially as it was a Thatcher construct. Now, if inly ARTD and Co. (tub thumpers union) could get together on the missing HS2 loot for Wales.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
4 months ago

I’d like to see Natasha Asghar face a No Confidence vote.

This serving MS decided to try and become the Mayor of London.

Ironic, considering the number of 20mph zones already in London (I know as I drove them earlier this year), with more to be introduced.
I found driving the London suburban 20mph routes to be rather pleasant.
Nobody was tailgaiting, hinking horns, flashing lights, or getting angry.
The traffic moved and at a speed where I found I was more observant to current traffic and pedestrian conditions.

CapM
CapM
4 months ago

The experience I’ve had so far strongly suggests that drivers are complying with the lowered speed limit. Driving on 20mph roads is better, a couple of improvements are that turning right across traffic and entering larger roads from side streets is easier both taking less time than previously. There’s also a feel good effect because you’re making the roads safer for others and a better experience for those using pavements alongside. The petition is most probably an example of a nine day wonder and when the thrill of signing it has passed the vast majority of those without a political… Read more »

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
4 months ago

One aspect of this more sedate pace may become apparent to shop keepers as passengers have a chance to spot new traders and amenities that they had failed to notice previously and have time to pull over and enjoy what is on offer to them. Bethesda is a perfect example as previously mentioned, the benefits will become more and more obvious as the emotions cool…

‘Tranquilo’ as my mate used to say to me in Coleg Harlech…

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
4 months ago
Reply to  Mab Meirion

You are assuming that the parking regime in the vicinity will be any more tolerant of casually stopping than the speed restriction is of exceeding it. Besides which, staring idly in every direction but straight ahead is dangerous driving even at 20. Less and less are towns and cities the resort of the private motorist. Alas.

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
4 months ago

I still don’t see why just tightening-up on the observance of the previous speed limits wouldn’t have gained at least as much and with considerably less expense and upset? Having said that, at least the Police seem to be taking a sensible and pragmatic stance on 20 mph, which they are allowing drivers to exceed by 10% + 2 mph before prosecuting. This is only 6 mph slower than before, so the new limit may prove to be no more than that needful ‘tightening up’ of the 30 mph limit which before was perhaps too often flouted? Nevertheless, this present… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Philip Davies

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