Petition against 20mph limits in Wales breaks records

A petition opposing the new 20mph default speed limit in Wales has had a record-breaking number of signatures.

With more than 244,000 signatures by Tuesday evening, the petition asks the Welsh government to “rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law”, according to the BBC.

It comes after Wales became the first country in the UK to make the speed limit in built-up areas 20mph.

The Senedd Petitions Committee will now consider it for debate as it is well over the 10,000 signature threshold.

Welsh ministers said a 20mph (32km/h) limit would reduce deaths and noise and encourage people to walk or cycle, but it has caused controversy with some drivers, said the BBC report.

The news was welcomed by some, including Gareth Parry, whose brother Keith was killed in 1994 after being hit by a car travelling at 30mph.

In the Senedd First Minister Mark Drakeford gave a one-word rejection to the idea of scrapping the new speed limit in the Senedd on Tuesday.

“No,” Mr Drakeford replied.

Later he added: “Behind this decision lies… the lives of people who would otherwise be caught up in the road traffic accidents which will not happen when people are travelling at 20mph but do happen when people are travelling at 30.”

Mr Drakeford accused the leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies of being “determined not to tell the truth” over the 20mph speed limit policy, calling him a “disgrace”.

The Welsh Conservatives have consistently claimed it is a blanket limit, to accusations from Welsh labour that it is misinformation.

Mr Davies later wrote to the presiding officer Elin Jones demanding an apology from Mr Drakeford, saying the allegation was “of no foundation”.

“It is correct to state the previous blanket 30mph limit has been replaced by a blanket 20mph limit and it is misleading of the First Minister to claim otherwise,” he said.

20mph marking on road
Image caption,The 20mph limit has come into force for all restricted roads

The petition, which was started by Mark Baker on 13 September, has broken the highest number of signatures for a petition in Wales.

The previous record, a petition to allow supermarkets to sell “non-essential” items during lockdown, reached 67,940 signatures.

Figures on the Senedd website show that 96% of those signing the 20mph petition said they were from Wales.


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