The amount of taxpayer money spent on 20mph roads in Wales has exploded by over 500% in just one year, according to the Welsh Conservatives.
In response to a written question by the Party, £9.8m was given this year to councils to implement 20mph zones, more than five times the £1.8m spent in 2021/22.
The most money this year was awarded to Neath Port Talbot, which received £1.4m, followed by Rhondda Cynon Taf and Carmarthenshire, which were given £1.1m and £797,074, respectively.
Blaenau Gwent and Cardiff were the biggest beneficiaries the year before, to the tune of £403,816 and £343,908 apiece.
It comes as the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay forces local authorities to make 20mph the default speed limit across Wales despite its own analysis concluding it would cost the Welsh economy £4.5bn. The final amount spent on the scheme’s rollout is expected to be £32.5m.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister Natasha Asghar MS said, “The Labour Government may think that can do what they like in Wales, but they will soon learn that forcing every road to be 20mph, with councils and residents having the power taken out of their hands, will have consequences.
“If Labour ministers are under the impression that they can spend millions of pounds to grind the Welsh economy to a halt to the tune of £4.5bn, then they are in for a rude awakening.”
She added, “20mph may be appropriate for certain areas, like outside parks and schools, but to impose it as a blanket speed limit only serves to expose the anti-driver, anti-business, anti-growth agenda of the Labour Party and their reliable Plaid Cymru puppets.
|A petition calling for the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay to scrap its imposition of a blanket nationwide 20mph speed limit has received nearly 50,000 signatures.
Commenting, Natasha Asghar MS said, “This petition only further highlights the strength of feeling out there about Labour’s plan to grind Wales to a halt.
“This hated law will hit the Welsh economy for six and cost taxpayers a fortune, causing misery for drivers and failing to address congestion.
“It’s seems that with default 20mph speed limits, the road-building ban, and a rumoured congestion charge, the anti-car, anti-worker, anti-growth agenda of Labour will only get worse.”
“Instead of making the lives of car owners more miserable, Labour should drop this ridiculous proposal as well as finally ending the roadbuilding ban and putting to bed rumours of a congestion charge, and focus on addressing the people’s priorities of economic development and the NHS.”
It follows news that:
- Labour-run Monmouthshire County Council are to scrap the limits on two roads following congestion concerns;
- Lee Waters resorted to criticising the “remarkably narrow sighted view” of Cardiff Bus after they expressed concerns over the effects of the 20mph limit on the viability of the business, which is a Council asset.
- New research has revealing that cutting speed limits on urban roads to 20mph does not significantly improve safety.