A petition calling on the Welsh Government to “rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law” has reached 300,000 signatures – far exceeding the previous record number of people signing a Senedd petition.
The man behind the petition, Mark Baker an IT professional from Bridgend says he has already been contacted by the Senedd to ask him if he would close the petition early. The petition has reached it’s record number of signatures in less than a week, however the petition itself is currently due to remain open for six months.
Mr Baker told the BBC that he was not willing to close the petition early as “the last petition to get over 20,000 signatures was closed early and they simply shrugged it off in plenary and dismissed it”
“I expressed my thanks and advised them to continue this petition for the full six months so the Welsh government can see just how unpopular this policy is with the Welsh people,” he said.
First Minister, Mark Drakeford was asked in the Senedd whether in light of the record breaking petition he would rescind the 20mph default speed limit for Wales. He responded “No” – adding when pushed for reasoning behind his decision, that it was due to “the lives of the people who would have been caught up in those road traffic accidents that won’t happen when people drive at 20mph, that would have if they were to drive at 30.”
“That is why this government will be sticking fast to the decision that has been made, endorsed twice on the floor of this house by a super majority.”
Deputy climate change minister, Lee Waters, who has responsibility for transport, has said that while there were no plans for any further nationwide changes to speed limits, they did need to be reviewed in line with his new transport policy.
Mr Waters said: “If there is an accident blackspot, rather than saying ‘let’s spend £30m over five years on a carbon intensive road scheme’, let’s just drop the speed limit.
“We can do that next week it won’t cost us anything. It will save lives.”
Responding to the record-breaking petition, Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS said: “Labour and Plaid Cymru have refused to listen to public opinion and are continuing to wage their anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist agenda. Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales.
“With little to no consultation from the public, the people of Wales are using this petition to send a clear message to Labour in Cardiff Bay – they have had enough of this socialist agenda and are tired of being dictated to.”
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