Posted: Sat 13th Apr 2024

Welsh Conservatives call to scrap ‘road building ban’ and 20mph limit

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales


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The Welsh Conservatives are calling on the Welsh Government to scrap its ‘road building ban’ and controversial default 20mph limit.

The opposition party, which will table a motion in the Senedd on Wednesday 17 April, has argued that an “anti-motorist agenda and lacklustre transport policies are not fit for purpose and are holding Wales back.”

The 20mph speed limit has come under fire since its introduction in September 2023, with many criticising the cost of its rollout and its effectiveness.

There have also been questions over whether it has led to an increase in congestion – whilst a petition calling for it to be scrapped has gained over 468,000 signatures since September.

However recent data shows that speeds have reduced by an average of 4mph on main roads since the national rollout of the default 20mph speed limit.

The data, which was collected by Transport for Wales, monitored millions of vehicles’ speeds in nine different communities across Wales before and after implementation.

It shows that since the new default speed limit was introduced in September 2023 the average speed on Wales roads dropped an average of 4mph – from 28.9mph to 24.8mph.

On urban roads with low average speeds, there is average six per cent reduction in collisions per 1mph reduction in average speed

According to the Welsh Government the research shows a “strong link between lowering speeds and decreasing the number of collisions and people injured.”

The motion will also call for the Welsh Government to reverse its ban on new road building across Wales, which was announced in February 2023.

Commenting ahead of the debate, Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS, said: “Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay continue to push their anti-motorist agenda, with drivers being forced out of their vehicles through Labour Government policy.

“The people of Wales want to get on with their daily lives, yet Labour’s lack of investment in public transport, road building ban, and 20mph speed limits are preventing them from doing exactly this.

“In the Senedd next week, we’ll be calling on the Welsh Labour Government to end their war on motorists, scrap their road building ban and 20mph speed limits, and to get Wales moving again.”

The motion which will be debated on Wednesday reads:

To propose that the Senedd:

1. Believes the Welsh Government’s transport policies for Wales are not fit for purpose.

2. Regrets the North and South transport divide in Wales, with £50m allocated to the North Wales Metro, and over £1bn to the South Wales Metro.

3. Calls on the Welsh Government to urgently:

a) undertake a review of the current road building tests with a view to implementing all previously scrapped schemes that will boost economic growth or enhance road safety;

b) reverse the Restricted Roads (20mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022 and adopt a targeted approach to 20mph speed limits in Wales; and

c) invest in public transport to make buses and trains more competitive with travelling by car.

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