As I’m sure everyone is aware, the blanket 20mph speed limit will be coming into force on Sunday at a cost of £33 million.
Earlier this week, the First Minister called this price tag on the rollout of the blanket 20mph speed limit “a small price to pay.”
This is certainly no small cost especially considering that, according to the latest statistics, Wales has lowest GDP growth in the United Kingdom.
Businesses in Wales need the opportunity to grow out of the pandemic and help with the increasing cost of doing business. They do not need policy’s dampening this recovery and stunting financial growth.
Not only is this policy incredibly expensive, but I find it incredibly concerning that the Welsh Government has admitted that it will not be monitoring the impact of the new speed limit on neighbouring roads.
This means we will have no idea what the actual impact of these changes will be on safety or air pollution elsewhere and therefore no idea how effective this policy really is.
Frustratingly, the Welsh Government has ignored the views of the public and businesses on this drastic change.
The majority of respondents to the Welsh Government’s consultation said that they would be against the changes coming into force, once again proving that the Welsh Government is not listing to the people of Wales.
I am not opposed to 20mph zones, indeed it makes sense to have them near schools, residential areas, or around areas of high footfall. But this blanket 20mph approach, dictated from the Welsh Government, isn’t necessary.
Where more 20mph zones are needed, they should be delivered by local councils, not a blanket approach forced upon the people of Wales by Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay.
This blanket ban does nothing except remove powers from local councils and local people to decide local issues, just another example of the command-and-control nature of Labour here in Wales.
We need a targeted approach; this one size fits all policy does nothing except hold Welsh businesses back.
If we want to see meaningful change to people’s behaviours, we must see politicians improving public transport in Wales, not clumsily increasing restrictions on drivers.