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Mark Drakeford blasted for 'madness' as 300k sign petition on 20mph Wales speed limit

NewsMark Drakeford blasted for 'madness' as 300k sign petition on 20mph Wales speed limit

The Labour-run Welsh Government has been accused of “sheer madness” over the new 20mph speed limit as a petition calling for it to be reversed approaches 300,000 signatures.

Wales on Sunday became the first country in the UK to drop the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph for residential roads.

The Welsh Government has said that slashing the speed limit would protect lives and save the NHS millions of pounds.

But the move has sparked fury with a record-breaking petition on the Senedd website demanding the policy is scrapped almost at 300,000 signatures, including more than 100,000 in the last 24 hours.

Welsh Tory leader Andrew RT Davies described the new speed limit as “sheer madness”.

He cited Welsh Government documents that estimate the cost to the country’s economy will be up to £8.9billion.

Mr Davies told GB News: “It will have a damaging impact on our economy, by their own figures nearly £9billion will be wiped off the economy.

“And equally it’s debatable given some previous studies whether the casualty rate reduction will actually happen.

“We all want to see safer roads, we all believe that outside schools, hospitals and other sensitive sites 20mph is a sensible compromise.

“But to have a blanket 20mph across the whole of the country is just sheer madness.”

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday rejected calls to U-turn on the 20mph rollout.

He also denied claims it is a “blanket” ban as councils have the power to exempt certain roads from the scheme.

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The introduction of a default 20mph speed limit is a policy which has received cross party support in the Senedd.

“Reducing speeds reduces collisions and saves lives but also improves the quality of life – helping to make our streets and local communities safer for everyone.”

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