Posted: Sun 1st Oct 2023

Rishi Sunak slammed by Welsh Government over “misleading” 20mph speed limit remarks

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Sunday, Oct 1st, 2023

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been criticised by the Welsh government for his comments on the 20mph speed limit in Wales, made during his appearance on the BBC’s ‘Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg’ this morning.

During the interview with the BBC’s former political editor ahead of the Conservative Party conference, Mr Sunak expressed concern about the impact of speed restrictions on drivers, suggesting that such measures make life difficult for car users.

He said, “Cars for most people are the form of transport that they rely on the most. It’s a freedom that gives you the ability to just get around in your day-to-day life and for too many people, it felt like everyone was trying to stop them doing that by imposing blanket speed restrictions.”

“That’s what we’ve seen in Wales from the Labour government with their blanket 20mph speed limit.”

In response to the claim of ‘blanket’ 20mph speed limits in Wales, the Welsh government said Mr Sunak is “misleading the public.”

A spokesperson expressed disappointment, stating: “It is profoundly disappointing the prime minister is inadvertently or intentionally, choosing to mislead people about the introduction of 20mph.”

 “It is not a blanket restriction.”

“Speed limits on a great number of roads in Wales are unchanged and journey times take around a minute longer.”

“This will save lives and make our communities safer.”

Ms Kuenssberg pointed out the introduction of 20mph limits on restricted roads in Wales is, “very similar to what the Conservative Council in Cornwall is proposing and also even in your own parts of the world in North Yorkshire, I think more than 100 parish councils who want to have a 20 mile an hour limit.”

“So if you think it’s the wrong thing, as you’ve explained, will you stop Conservative councils bringing in these plans?”

Responding Mr Sunak said: “This is about local people being in the driving seat.”

“And it’s about making sure that things are not imposed on local communities without their consent.”

“Now, of course, it makes sense to have speed limits around, for example, school areas, everyone’s safety for our children.”

“But these things need to be done with consent and it can’t be part of this war on motorists.”

Speaking to Deeside.com in the Summer, Mr Sunak said: “I think a blanket reduction to 20 miles an hour doesn’t make sense.”

“It will just add cost and complexity, it will cause people to make that adjustment and just get in the way of their ordinary lives.”

He said the speed limit reduction “in a blanket fashion like that is not appropriate.”

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