Mark Drakeford humiliated as more people sign 20mph petition than backed Labour

Penny Mordaunt criticises new speed restrictions in Wales

More people have signed a petition against Wales’s new 20mph speed limit than voted for Welsh Labour at the last Senedd election.

Earlier this month, Wales became the first country in the UK to drop the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph for residential roads.

A petition against the move by the Labour-run Welsh Government has now surpassed 443,000 names.

It means more people have signed the petition than voted for First Minister Mark Drakeford’s party at the Welsh Parliament elections in 2021.

Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said: “Over 443,000 people have signed the record-breaking petition against Labour’s blanket 20mph speed limits.

“That’s more than the total number of people who voted Labour at the last Senedd elections. Yet Labour continue to ignore them.

“Instead, they continue to push their anti-worker, anti-car and anti-growth agenda.

“People will not forget this come the next Senedd election. A vote for the Welsh Conservatives will be a vote to scrap Labour’s blanket 20mph speed limits.”

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the speed limit would protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92million a year.

But the project is costing around £33million to implement, while it is expected to hit the economy by up to £9billion.

Not all 30mph roads will see their speed limits reduced as councils have the power to exempt certain roads from the scheme.

Mr Drakeford earlier this week defended the controversial 20mph limit on restricted roads.

He told the Senedd: “At the heart of the case for moving to 20mph speed limits as a default in built-up residential areas is road safety.

“This is a measure that will save lives and that is the basis on which we will continue to defend a measure which only last week the leading academic journal in this field said was the most significant public health measure to have been attempted in the UK for nearly 20 years.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The introduction of a 20mph speed limit in mainly residential areas is designed to save lives and make our communities safer for everyone, including motorists.

“It has been thoroughly researched, voted on in the Senedd and received the backing from a majority of Senedd Members. There has been extensive consultation and it has been trialled in communities across Wales.”

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