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Welsh Tories accused of playing ‘grubby little games’ with 20mph speed limit petition

15 Aug 2023 5 minute read
Inset: Andrew RT Davies – Image: Welsh Government.

Emily Price

The Welsh Conservatives have been accused of playing ‘grubby little games’ with a 20mph speed limit petition which they’ve launched on their own website.

The petition, ‘Stop Labour’s blanket 20mph Speed Limits’ calls for people who disagree with the new speed limit to provide their name, email address and postcode so that their signature can be recorded.

It is not an official Senedd petition meaning there will be no debate as a result of the signatures that are gathered.

Commenting on the petition, Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS accused the Welsh Conservatives of trying to “weaponise” road safety reform.

The Welsh Tories said the petition had been launched to allow people to voice their “opposition and anger” toward the speed limit change which will come into force in Wales on September 17th.

A ‘tickbox’ has been included with the petition which once clicked will allow the Conservative Party to use the personal details of signatories to keep them “updated via email about the party’s campaigns and opportunities to get involved until further notice”.

Plaid Cymru described the petition as an “information gathering exercise” which is being used by the Welsh Tories to “further sow division”.

The petition does not include an up to date counter of how many people have signed it and there is no date for when it will close.

The page states that a signatory must provide their postcode in order for the Welsh Conservatives to confirm that “responses have come from within Wales” so the party can record answers against signatories electoral register record.

Nation Cymru tested whether there were any measures in place to validate the details of the people signing the petition.

We used a false name, false email and a non-existant postcode to sign the petition.

Our signature was still counted and we were also able to sign the petition more than once.

Nation Cymru tested whether the petition could validate the details of signatories.

Measures

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS said: “The Welsh Tories are trying to weaponise a common-sense road safety reform as part of their culture wars.

“An area-wide 20mph speed limit is being taken forward by Conservative controlled Cornwall Council and the Welsh approach was passed with the votes of Tory Senedd Members just three years ago.

“They have no integrity and no serious interest in making Wales better, they just want to play grubby little games to get some attention.”

Nation Cymru asked the Welsh Conservatives what they planned to do with the results of the petition once it had been closed.

We also asked what measures had been put in place to stop people from using false details and signing the petition from outside of Wales or multiple times.

They declined to respond to our questions on how their petition is validating signatories.
“Anger”

Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, Andrew RT Davies MS said: “This is another anti-Welsh Conservative story from a website that is part funded by the Labour Government.

“We make no apologies for representing the views of the people of Wales, along with using petitions, social media and the platforms our elected members have in highlighting the extreme policies of the Labour and Plaid Government, and the harm they are causing.”

Also commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS said: “Our Welsh Conservative petition on blanket 20mph speed limits will allow the people of Wales, whom we represent, a chance to voice their opposition and anger towards this change.

“This is another failed policy by the Labour Government which has been inadequately advertised, and continues to flood the inboxes of MSs.

“Our already stretched and under resourced local authorities will now be inundated with complaints and queries from furious residents.

“Blanket 20mph speed limits will slow the people of Wales down, and cost the economy £4.5bn. Welsh Conservatives will continue to call on the Labour Government to scrap this ludicrous policy.”

“Division”

Plaid Cymru warned that anyone concerned about the upcoming speed limit change should be “cautious of the Conservatives’ disingenuous actions.”

A Plaid Cymru Spokesperson said: “All political parties conduct information gathering exercises to a certain degree. However this must always be done ethically and not used to further sow division.

“In the case of 20mph, the Conservatives would do well to remember their previous support for the cause rather than stirring tensions.

“Plaid Cymru would like to see more community consultation on the 20mph rollout, and would like to remind the public that exceptions can be made on a local government level to this issue, where appropriate.

“By all means contact your local MS to raise that in the Senedd, or your local councillor to raise it locally, but Plaid Cymru would urge people to be cautious of the Conservatives’ disingenuous actions.”


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Dafydd
Dafydd
8 months ago

Interesting that Plaid would want further consultations when in Ceredigion they carried out a consultation exersise and then diregarded the result. The overwhelming majority of the responses were against the imposition of the 20 mph ,which will have a devestating evect on rural biusneses , but they followed the Labour party procedure of ignoring consultation results.

CJPh
CJPh
8 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

I always wonder why public consultations on foregone conclusions take place at all. I used to think it was a way to preserve a veneer of ‘democracy’ at a local level. I’m not sure it’s quite that Machiavellian. I have seen, however, the adoption of language used by “local people” in favour of a proposition used in updated material regarding new proposals. Because, y’know, the laptop class elite can’t speak like normies.

karl
karl
8 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

All environemetal policy is unpopular.Bbut sometimes popular is the stupid way. Not sure how rural business will be devistated, would say other factors in life far more destructive than cleaner air. The fact is if we went by consultation we would all be suffering fumes, because peopel are lazy and unwilling to improve life on their own.

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Dafydd

How will it have a devastating effect on rural business? Genuine question.

John
John
8 months ago

Efallai y dylem ni gyd arwyddo’r ddeiseb gyda enwau megis:

Con Tyw Bob Tory
Arti D. Egwyddor

CJPh
CJPh
8 months ago

Contemporary politics in Wales is so gross.

Annibendod
Annibendod
8 months ago

“Grubby little games” is about entry level for most Toraidhes. Classic play book. Create divisions, wind people up, milk their votes, let the spivvery and shysterism ensue ….

Rheinallt morgan
Rheinallt morgan
8 months ago
Reply to  Annibendod

I know all other parties in Wales are squeaky clean.

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago

None of them are innocent but none are as corrupt as the tories,

Annibendod
Annibendod
8 months ago

Play the ball.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

Wether you agree 20 mph speed limit this english nationalist party tory are a grubby mob any way i do not know if any of you read the papers online but have a quick look every morning to see any thing interesting the right wing fascist rag daily mail over the last 3 days on Wales N H S, 2nd Homes 20 m p h some of the comments about us would be classed as Racism if it was about people of different Religion or different colour skin the comments from lots are disgusting one said they go and collect… Read more »

Welshman28
Welshman28
8 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Wow some clear accusations from you NOW give clear examples of your statement with the dates

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago
Reply to  Welshman28

Yesterdays Daily Mail and the 2 previous days

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago
Reply to  Welshman28

You must be a Tory

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

For the moderators is it just me or are all others comments wait for the moderators to check them

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

I keep getting it along with the idiot captcha thing.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
8 months ago

Snap

Gareth
Gareth
8 months ago
Reply to  Dai Ponty

Me also.

Gareth
Gareth
8 months ago

One can not believe a word A R T Davies says, not long ago he was for the 20mph limit and was appearing in photo ops, now he is against, just like he is now for road building, but campaigned against a new road for Cardiff airport, that was due to pass near to his farm.

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago
Reply to  Gareth

One cannot believe a word any tory politician says.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
8 months ago

““Blanket 20mph speed limits will… cost the economy £4.5bn.

[citation needed] as Wikipedia would say

Ap Kenneth
Ap Kenneth
8 months ago

Think the Tories need a chill pill.

Paul
Paul
8 months ago
Reply to  Ap Kenneth

I drove into Caerdydd yesterday and found the whole 20mph experience most relaxing. In the past driving in Caerdydd terrified me, pedestrians, cyclists, kids all at risk from me but at 20mph they no longer need to fear and nor do I. What’s the rush anyway?

Blinedig
Blinedig
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

Thank you. In roads across the nation, which I know well, I’ll be satisfied if the new limit forces some to drive at 30 by default. Instead of 60 in 30 limit areas, which I have seen too often.

Neil Anderson
Neil Anderson
8 months ago
Reply to  Paul

“Better to be 5min late in this world than 5min early in the next”

The original mark
The original mark
8 months ago

A very basic but effective and blatant data scraping project, unfortunately the electorate are stupid enough to fall for the bait

Richard
Richard
8 months ago

This is the silly season when in the past DET would start a few hares running and in recent times ARTD had stepped into that role. The issue is important and the principle has wide support but the blanket implementation has not Even worse the Welsh Gvt has offered mixed messages, local confusion in test areas as well a failure to distribute accurate info – especially in border areas ARTD and chums need to think about joining the positive messaging and working with Councils. Sam Rowlands for one ☝️ has sadly disappointed many in his patch by silly press comment… Read more »

Clint Eastwood
Clint Eastwood
8 months ago

£6.9bn cost to the Welsh economy over 30 years (WGs own figures). Slower emergency service responses. No proof at all around air quality. £35m upfront. Yeah looks like a great idea.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
8 months ago
Reply to  Clint Eastwood

How would the 20 mph limit slow down emergency service responses? In an emergency situation such drivers are not restricted by speed limits where it is safe to exceed them in an emergency situation, so emergency response times are highly unlikely to be affected. The £6.9 bn cost over 30 years is hardly high impact, and in any case amounts to £230,000 a year – or about the price of an average house in a less desirable area of Cardiff and about a quarter of a house in Abersoch! Even at £230,000 a year, it’s still more than six times… Read more »

Welshman28
Welshman28
8 months ago
Reply to  Padi Phillips

Ambulances are not allowed to go through red lights

CapM
CapM
8 months ago
Reply to  Clint Eastwood

Looks like numbers on the side of a bus and we know how little of the total story they told.

Huw kidwell
Huw kidwell
8 months ago
Reply to  Clint Eastwood

20mph is a good idea in residential areas but one must remember people still have to get around. Compare with 20mph limits in London, in busy areas no one complied and as a pedestrian it was scary.

Windy
Windy
8 months ago

If it’s proved that a speed reduction will save one child from s’more serious injury or even death it will be worth it

CJPh
CJPh
8 months ago
Reply to  Windy

No cars will prevent children from ALL road traffic injuries. So no cars.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
8 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

That is not the argument he is making and you know it.

Welshman28
Welshman28
8 months ago

Can anyone tell me in forcing us to drive at 20mph will clean the air in Wales, How will punishing us with a fine and points on your license clean the air how will the money raised from this immoral punishment be spent. Finally why is it we in the UK – ALL of the UK are ranked as one of the least polluting countries in the world and all of the stupid ideas will make no difference to the world pollution. Before you all start shouting at me that is a statement give by leading scientists and one Mr… Read more »

Howard Edwards
Howard Edwards
8 months ago

The whole fundamental philosophy of the Tories is grubby.

Ian
Ian
8 months ago

R T Davies was photographed giving 110% support to the 20mph limit when it was first put out to the public. What’s changed R T.? Apart from the Tory opinion polls showing Labour 25 point lead. Sewer politics.

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