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Opinion

How the Welsh Conservatives would improve transport in Wales

25 Mar 2024 5 minute read
Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar

Natasha Asghar MSShadow Minister for Transport and Technology

Be in no doubt, a Welsh Conservative Government would end Labour’s war on motorists from day one and get our country moving again.

That would involve scrapping Labour’s default 20mph speed limit scheme, axing congestion charges, resuming road building and ruling out ludicrous ideas like reintroducing the dreaded Severn Bridge tolls and the dreaded ULEZ.

Labour ministers aren’t even trying to hide their deep-rooted hatred for motorists anymore and that can be seen with their anti-driver agenda.

We need a government which recognises cars will always be a necessity and supports all drivers instead of actively seeking to punish them.

Alternatives

As far as I am concerned, people should have adequate alternative options to a private car – but they shouldn’t be forced out of their vehicles through government policy.

We absolutely need a top-notch public transport network with buses and trains serving residents in our communities effectively – and that’s what the Welsh Conservatives would deliver.

Instead of axing vital funding for buses and signing off blank cheques to Transport for Wales like Labour has done – the Welsh Conservatives would work in tandem with the industry, local authorities and residents to deliver a fit-for-purpose transport system which works for everyone.

As a Welsh Conservative, I believe there is a place for 20mph speed limits, such as outside schools, hospitals and playgrounds. But what I do not agree with is the approach taken by the Welsh Government.

The fact that just under 500,000 people signed a petition to rescind this policy, cannot be ignored.

So what could you expect to see from a Welsh Conservative Government?

Under a Welsh Conservative Government, the Welsh public could expect to see a targeted speed-reduction approach, which would involve reverting back to 30mph as the limit where this was previously the case; in those areas which do not see these heightened levels of pedestrians.

As we now know, it is under the Welsh Labour Government that 97% of these
30mph roads were turned into 20mph zones.

The reversing of this policy would of course take some time, but we would aim to get it done with minimal disruption and as swiftly as possible. Any outlay to revert back to how things were, would be seriously outweighed by the economic benefits of rescinding the policy.

Reversal

Working out how best to carry out the demolition of this policy in order to save vital, hard- earned taxpayers’ money and minimise disruption, is of utmost importance to the Welsh Conservatives, especially when considering the huge amount of money the Welsh Labour Government have already thrown at this policy.

Therefore, we have already looked into measures such as, bringing back 30mph signs that have been kept and placed in storage by local authorities.

It is also very much worth considering that by reversing this policy, we would also be
preventing a £9 billion blow to the economy, which the Welsh Government’s very own forecasts predicted.

The Welsh Conservatives would start work on implementing the reversing of Labour’s 20mph speed limit policy from day one, as well as making the delivery of much-needed infrastructure projects a top priority.

The Welsh Government has spent just shy of £200 million on propping-up Cardiff Airport since they bought it in 2013. This is £200 million of taxpayers’ cash.

The Welsh Conservatives would have re-invested this cash into transport projects which directly benefit people’s lives, such as building an M4 relief road, a third Menai crossing and the Chepstow bypass.

These are the type of policies we would promote and invest in, if we were to govern Wales.

We would aim to reduce congestion, improve people’s travel experiences all over Wales, and make Wales a more attractive place to live, in the process.

Discussions

As well as this investment into our roads, we would aim to work more closely with local authorities who wholly understand the needs of the communities they represent. Whether this be discussions and decisions on buses, trains, or active travel.

By doing so, we would ensure we hear of which projects and transportation links our Welsh communities feel are really needed, enabling us to incorporate this knowledge within the policies and decisions made in Cardiff Bay.

The Welsh Labour Government also seem to have missed that to not travel by car, you need a viable alternative. Something which they are currently unable to say they have adequately provided.

Yes, people like – and should be encouraged – to travel actively and by public transport where they can, but it is not always possible. As Welsh Conservatives we use the common sense approach; we get it – it isn’t always feasible – and we won’t punish you for it.

This is just a snapshot of the start of our transport journey. Were we to be elected into government at the next Senedd election, 2026, you would see a multitude of policies designed to boost investment into transport infrastructure and make life easier – whilst still looking after our environment.

Transport and technology go hand in hand, and we should use all the tools at our disposal to get Wales moving.

If you like the sound of a prosperous, well-invested and reliable transport network; vote for the Welsh Conservatives!


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Jeff
Jeff
15 days ago

Well that was a load of waffle. No info past the slogans we already hear.

How was the london mayoral attempt?

Keri
Keri
15 days ago

From day one of what? They don’t have a snowball in hades chance of winning anything to do anything. Thank god.

I’m amazed I typed that without swearing.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
15 days ago

For a start, I think the chances of there being a Tory Welsh Government are vanishingly small, and hell’s more likely to freeze over. As for Tories actually making public transport a viable alternative, that would mean a total reversal of Tory policies for pretty much the past half century. As for relieving congestion by building the M4 relief route, it wouldn’t relieve anything for long, as it’s long been known that traffic just expands to fill any new road space. The default 20mph limit introduced in Wales isn’t without it’s problems, but to claim that a very badly worded… Read more »

Alwyn
Alwyn
15 days ago

The devil as usual, lies in the detail. And that’s what Natasha’s singularly light on. WHICH relief road will she build? And how will she ensure that she doesn’t just move the thrombus of Bryn Glas down the motorway? As for ‘prosperous well- invested public transport‘ ? Dream on Natasha! Tories spending money on public transport? Don’t make me laugh! Labour have taken 5 years of disruption just to lay the foundations of the South Wales Metro and I can’t see any Tory Senedd members using that to commute let alone coughing up government finance to finish the job. As… Read more »

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
15 days ago

First of all the Tories would never win to be in charge to be in Government in Wales they might win some seats where the English migrants have come but they the Tories will always be in minority

Paul ap Gareth
Paul ap Gareth
15 days ago

Conservatives could improve transport in Wales by correctly calling HS2 an England only project and giving Wales our fair share. They have the power to do that today – yet refuse.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
15 days ago

It’s interesting they don’t say what wlll happen to Cardiff airport, being the only major international airport in Wales. Perhaps, they are being led by their masters in London, who want to keep Cardiff airport down in favour of Bristol airport? Westminster policy is one of the reasons why it is dearer (higher taxes) to travel from Cardiff, why the airport struggles. https://jomec.co.uk/thecardiffian/2019/02/19/plans-to-make-cardiff-airport-flights-cheaper-being-blocked/ If the Tories were in charge – we would also say goodbye to the environmentally significant Gwent Levels. What also don’t say is how much input local councils have on the 20mph decisions – a lot (councils… Read more »

Annibendod
Annibendod
15 days ago

Natasha, I saw your bullish performance on the Monmouth episode of Newsnight and I have to say I was disappointed at how the other guests allowed you to get away with spouting complete and utter nonsense. And here you are again. ULEZ sounds like a jolly good idea should you wish to have freedom from polluted air. There’s no need to change the 20mph law. We only need to make sure the local authorities apply sensible exemptions on arterial routes. We don’t need to change the policy on roadbuilding. We need the money your theiving colleagues in Westminster have stolen… Read more »

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
15 days ago

Conservatives clown Natasha Asghar MS proclaims with fanfare what the Welsh Conservatives would do in power to improve transport in Wales. What a bloody nerve she has. Have I just awoken from bad dream , or in Wales case, a bloody nightmare. Is this the same Conservative party that’s been in power for the past 14 years in London in which they’ve reneged on the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon. Scrapped the Swansea to Cardiff rail electrification manifesto pledge countersigned by LWC Andrew RT Davies and then WS Alun Cairns. May I remind that Conservative cuckoo that her party also lied… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
15 days ago

The fact it has taken the creation of the new metro , with EU as well as Senedd funding , to replace Victorian era track and signalling on the Treherbert line, shows what investing they have done here while they have been able to. Track and signalling is reserved to Westminster and done by Network Rail, who they control. They have always had the money and power to upgrade our infrastructure, but refuse to do it.

TomTom82
TomTom82
13 days ago
Reply to  Gareth

Tracks are replaced and funded by network rail. A government entity. I think you’re being unfair to the Victorians. They built things to last.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
13 days ago
Reply to  TomTom82

The Victorians may have built things to last but they also built their stuff well over 120 years ago and it is now falling apart.

Evan G
Evan G
15 days ago

Jesus wept, this is incoherent nonsense. Knock-about in the Senedd is one thing but if this is their considered critique of the official opposition then we should all worry. Take just one example, she says That in the last 11 years £200m has been spent ‘propping-up Cardiff Airport’ and the Conservatives “would have re-invested this cash into transport projects which directly benefit people’s lives, such as building an M4 relief road, a third Menai crossing and the Chepstow bypass”. So let’s put to one side the closure of the airport that would result, and the knock-on closure of the BA… Read more »

Ap Kenneth
15 days ago

If the Cons really wanted a “prosperous, well-invested and reliable transport network” they would have made HS2 an England only project and given Wales the cash to provide a prosperous, well-invested and reliable transport network. It was in their power all along but have no such intention.

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
15 days ago

Very little about their plans for public transport here.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago
Reply to  Mr Williams

That’s because they don’t have any.

Lord Custard
Lord Custard
15 days ago

Give Wales it’s money back you stole for HS2 and give it the crown estate land back too.

Charles
Charles
15 days ago

There is no way those plans will help Welsh Transport
And the environment.
Wish she had gone for the Mayor of London!

Dafydd
Dafydd
15 days ago

Massive irony – the word conservative suggests someone that would have environmental protection at their heart yet your creed is to destroy, to ignorantly pave over, to obliterate all that is good … just to make a fast buck.. The place I grew up in was a paradise, now 3 bypasses later its akin to living in a couldron of noise and traffic fumes. I really wish I could swear on here because I really want to let rip with my response to you and your ignorant, manure laden comments. War on motorists? What about the war on nature and… Read more »

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago
Reply to  Dafydd

Indeed, the ‘war on motorists’ trope is just a load of old bollox – the real war has been by motorists against pedestrians, cyclists, bus passengers, safe streets and the environment ever since the invention of the car.

lufccymru
lufccymru
15 days ago

Give us the HS2 money, allow us to change air tax at Cardiff airport, give us control of the rail infrastructure in Cymru, give us control of the Crown Estate in Cymru. No? Well you don’t work for us then. Head back to Llundain.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
15 days ago

I’ve tripped over so many untruths in the first two paragraphs I can’t be bothered to carry on reading.

Llyn
Llyn
14 days ago

Reading this article with crazed references to ULEZ and congestion charges, which don’t exist in Wales. Natasha Asghar sounds more like a conspiracy theorist that a serious politician.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
14 days ago

To quote Asghar: “That would involve scrapping Labour’s default 20mph speed limit scheme, axing congestion charges, resuming road building and ruling out ludicrous ideas like reintroducing the dreaded Severn Bridge tolls and the dreaded ULEZ.” Firstly: scrapping the default 20mph speed limit. Surely that should be up to councils to apply exemptions to the 20mph limit? She’s obviously (not) a great believer in local democracy. Secondly: what congestion charges? There aren’t any in Wales as far as I know (and certainly none in the area I live in). And if any are introduced then surely that should be up to… Read more »

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
14 days ago

The CONservatives are obsessed with the private motor vehicle.

Other, more environmentally friendly modes of transport are available, but these are only paid lip service at best in the piece.

Les Cargot
Les Cargot
14 days ago

After reading all the comments on here, I nearly slipped up and started to feel sorry for her.
Only for a nanosecond though.
Severn Crossing charges are just another myth like the 20mph “blanket speed limit”.

Nobby Tart
Nobby Tart
14 days ago

“Labour’s war on motorists”.
“Labour’s default 20mph speed limit scheme”.
“congestion charges”.
“the dreaded Severn Bridge tolls”.
“the dreaded ULEZ.”

Jeez, where to start with all this utter bilge.

Does she really think we’re stupid enough to believe these ridiculous soundbites?

Richard E
Richard E
13 days ago

I think 🤔 she might suggest a national
ban on “ Sudden U turns “

Andy Williams
13 days ago

Remind me, what party cancelled the electrification of the railway, to Swansea? What party refused to build the Swansea lagoon? And some voters, want to return to Westminster full control.

Adrian
Adrian
12 days ago

Tories have zero chance of getting into power in Wales or at Westminster. People need to look beyond the party and have a sensible debate on transport. Labour being anti motorist with their 20 mph and no new road building is damaging and needs to be removed. If it was targeted the 500k who signed the petition would have accepted it a lot more. Wales is too rural to be reliant on public transport. People rely on their cars to go about everyday activities and will continue to do so whatever the cost. There needs to be different strategies for… Read more »

Gareth
Gareth
12 days ago

I am not a Labour voter or supporter, but, could somebody explain to me why people blame our government for roads being designated 20mph, when it is local councils, of all political shades, who are responsible for deciding which roads are 20mph, and all were open to public consultation before desicions were made, secondly how is it a Labour war on motorists, when Tory councils all over England, have and are implementing the 20mph limit there, with little or no objections. And the petition , why should our government listen to Tory councilor from Sunderland in England who was influencing… Read more »

karl
karl
12 days ago

RCT council is Labour. They love the car and hate walking and cycling. Politics love the NO2 pollution

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