Despite becoming the most-signed petition in Senedd history, the Welsh Government remains steadfast in its decision to maintain the 20mph default speed limit, with no plans for reconsideration.
This law, which has resulted in a significant reduction of 30mph roads in Wales to only 3% of the network, was implemented on Sunday.
During an appearance on BBC Radio Wales’ breakfast show this Tuesday, Counsel General Mick Antoniw conveyed that the government possesses “no plans to change it” He further stated: “That is a matter for the Senedd petitions committee – it is the Senedd that chooses what that debate will be. If that takes place obviously government will participate and respond to it.”
However, when questioned about the possibility of the government amending the law in light of the evident opposition, he responded: “We’ve just introduced changes – we need to allow them to bed in and I’m confident they will be workable and people will accept them”
When asked if the Welsh Government had erred in its policy, particularly concerning public opinion polls that indicate strong opposition, Mr. Antoniw responded: “I think a lot of people are concerned. I think there’s a degree of confusion. It will take time for what is a significant culture change to bed in. But I’m confident it bed in. The experience from other countries like Spain is that will happen. The situation will be monitored and it will be reviewed.”
On Monday, Deputy Transport Minister Lee Waters disclosed that internal Welsh Government polling revealed approximately 50% opposition to the policy. In contrast, an ITV Wales/YouGov poll registered it at 61%.
As of the publication of this article, a petition opposing this change has garnered over 130,000 signatures. The petition’s statement reads as follows: “We want the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law. The new 20mph law is coming into force on the 17th September and it will mark the end of having socialism in power in Wales.
“Welsh Government claim to have supporting evidence stating that reducing to 20mph EVERYWHERE saves lives! Yet we get flyers merely claiming that it will, and opinions from doctors that see RTCs coming into A&E. This is NOT evidence. The only true evidence is from Belfast and it states it makes NO DIFFERENCE to RTCs!
“At least one of the trial villages in Monmouthshire actually reverted their trial because it was causing absolute carnage on the roads! Mark Drakeford has come out claiming it is a success in St Brides Major but every time I go though there NO ONE is driving at 20mph.
“The Welsh Government has FAILED to produce ANY convincing evidence to support these claims of safety. This law is being spearheaded by the WG Climate Change department and NOT Health & Safety!! YOU HAVE NOT LISTENED TO US. The Welsh Government was put there BY THE PEOPLE OF WALES, We are your boss! We demand that this foolish idea be stopped.”
Although the petition will remain open until March of the following year, it has already surpassed the requisite number of signatures required for the petitions committee to contemplate requesting a discussion in the Senedd chamber.
The signatories hail from across Wales, with the highest concentration, as of the current moment, being in the north Wales regional constituency.