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Welsh Government will ‘rue the day’ they introduced ‘mad’ 20mph speed limits claims Conservative newspaper

10 Aug 2022 4 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).

A Telegraph columnist has warned that the Welsh Government will “rue the day” they introduced “mad” 20mph speed limits, wrongly claiming that they are “abolishing” the 30mph speed limit.

Iain Dale, a British broadcaster, author and political commentator, is the latest columnist from the Conservative-leaning newspaper to take aim at the 20mph speed limit.

The Telegraph has waged a war of words against Wales’ 20mph speed limit over the last few weeks with the newspaper describing it as a sign of “small-country syndrome”, “devolution derangement” and “designed to compensate for the leadership’s feelings of insignificance”.

Wales became the first UK nation to make a move towards a default 20mph speed limit in urban areas last month, 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.

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.

However, Iain Dale wrongly claimed that the Welsh Government were “abolishing 30mph limits and replacing them with 20mph zones”.

“It’s fine to put lower speed limits outside schools or old people’s homes, or even on busy shopping streets where people cross the road more often, but to impose them on a dual carriageway or main A-road is the transport equivalent of political correctness gone mad,” he said.

“I know transport planners have a job to do, but to constantly kow-tow to the anti-car brigade, as many local authorities have been doing without even consulting the public, is not just infuriating, it is counter-productive.”

He added that “national politicians in Wales will rue the day they introduced this mad policy”.

‘Decline’

Last month, in the same newspaper, journalist Sally Jones said that such “devolution derangement” was “designed to compensate for the leadership’s feelings of insignificance”.

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.”

Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive of the campaign group Living Streets, has however backed the plans, describing them 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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Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago

I have yet to read an article about the 20mph limit thingy which has any semblance of factual accuracy.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

I hope people in Cymru see this for what it is: Thinly veiled jibes and swipes at the people of Cymru. In Wrecsam there has been a 20mph limit in several residential areas and as far as I can tell no Hell mouths have appeared and there have been zero sightings of hob-goblins, no one has, as far as I know, run into the street rending their clothes and cursing the cruelty of a world in which they have to drive a bit slower to get out of their estate and thence onwards to work, which, remember, according to journalists*… Read more »

Lionel Bray
Lionel Bray
1 month ago

Dale is a Tory. Conservatives and facts don’t mix, so everyone should treat this man’s views with a pinch of salt.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago
Reply to  Lionel Bray

I prefer to treat it with undisguised contempt.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

In the meantime the torygraph celebrates Conservative run Surrey County Council introducing 20mph speed limits.

Mick Tems
Mick Tems
1 month ago

The Torygraph is far-right lie factory. Don’t buy nor read this expensive toilet roll.

I Humphrys
I Humphrys
1 month ago

Hedgehogs, and other of our fellow beings, are grateful.
Instead of “did you see that?” it’s “look at that”.

Last edited 1 month ago by I Humphrys
Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  I Humphrys

Bring in Spiny Norman, he’ll enforce the speed limit

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

I wonder if Cambridge, Surrey, Bristol et Al will ALSO “rue the day” or if it’s just us.
Still, that expensive toilet paper producer just can’t get us out of their worthless alt right heads can they?

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 month ago

There are plenty of softer tissue products around these days. I suppose the nearest the D.T would be to toilet paper is when it might get put on the floor in an area where puppies are being toilet trained.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
1 month ago

Isn’t it about time to stop referring to this extremist propaganda pamphlet as a newspaper? They have long since abandoned any pretence of news.
It is like a Parish newsletter published exclusively for the most UKIPper parish in Kent. Tittliating, sensationalist, groupthink for the descendants of Moseley’s BUF, by Nigel Farage’s even more racist cousin.

Quornby
Quornby
1 month ago

“one of the most deprived areas of Europe”. Doesn’t say much for rule by the London clique does it?

Marc
Marc
1 month ago

So introducing a 20 mph limit in urban areas is small country syndrome? I rather thought small country syndrome was the desire to break free from from a corrupt , dysfunctional and anachronistic union that we had no say in joining 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Philip Davies
Philip Davies
1 month ago

Readers may be interested to know some facts concerning this important matter. I quote: From the text of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 ’82 What roads are restricted roads. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section and of section 84(3) of this Act, a road is a restricted road for the purposes of section 81 of this Act if— (a) in England and Wales, there is provided on it a system of street lighting furnished by means of lamps placed not more than 200 yards apart;’ The Welsh Government advisory Webpage says: ‘Restricted roads include street lights placed… Read more »

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