Councils across Wales are preparing to exempt scores of roads from the new 20mph default speed limit in under a month’s time.
The new lower limit is due to take affect on 17 September at a cost of about £26.7 Million to Welsh ratepayers but the legislation means the new lower limit has to come in first and then be rescinded and the current 30mph limit reapplied and roads resigned. This will add to council costs and the ultimate Welsh Government bill for the scheme.
Police and emergency services as well as bus companies have said the 20mph limit will impact on their ability to safely operate. Casualty doctors have backed the lower limit and said it will reduce injuries and deaths.
Commenting on the news that a Council in North Wales is set to change all signs on affected roads to 20mph next month – including those due to be exempted from the new regulations, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS said, “This is nothing more than an irresponsible waste of Welsh taxpayer’s money, the exemptions to the changes should be awarded long before the role out of the blanket policy on the 17 September.
“This underlines the lack of thought and planning going into this ill thought-out policy by the Labour Government.
“The Labour Minister needs to urgently put a hold on the roll out of the default 20mph, delaying it until all these questions are answered. I hope that the Labour Government will then decide that this ludicrous plan has hit a red light – indefinity.”
Also commenting, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for North Wales, Darren Millar MS added, “There is quite clearly overwhelming opposition in North Wales to the Cardiff Bay-centric Labour Government’s ridiculous decision to enact blanket 20mph zones across Wales.
“We know from Labour’s own explanatory memorandum that this decision will hit the Welsh economy to the tune of £4.5 billion. We need a U-turn and fast.”