Penny Mordaunt criticises new speed restrictions in Wales
Penny Mordaunt slammed the rollout of a new 20mph speed limit for residential roads in Wales as “absolutely insane”.
The Commons Leader accused the Labour-run Welsh Government of “punishing motorists” with the “crazy” move, which comes into force on Sunday.
And she warned Mark Drakeford’s administration is seen as a “blueprint for governing Britain” by Sir Keir Starmer.
Speaking during Business Questions in the Commons yesterday, Tory MP Virginia Crosbie said: “The Labour Government in Cardiff supported by Plaid Cymru will be introducing a blanket 20mph speed restriction in built-up areas across Wales from September 17.
“In many places – outside schools, outside hospitals – 20mph is appropriate.
“Does the Leader of the House agree with many of my Ynys Mon constituents that this blanket approach will impact main roads and impact the Welsh economy?
“And will she make time for a debate on how we should be supporting the Welsh economy, not punishing it?”
Ms Mordaunt replied: “This is absolutely insane even by the standards of Labour’s Welsh Government.
“They have ignored businesses and they have ignored the public. They are pushing ahead with this scheme despite huge opposition to it and I think the latest estimate is it will cost the Welsh economy £4.5 billion.
“But more disturbingly it is going to increase individuals’ fuel bills considerably and actually be harmful to the environment.
“(Ms Crosbie) is right, there are circumstances where of course 20mph speed limits are a good idea, but having them as the default for many roads is crazy.
“Instead of punishing motorists, Labour should be focusing on fixing public transport, in particular the trains.”
Ms Mordaunt added: “This situation is what the Labour Party refers to as their blueprint for governing Britain.”
The Welsh Government has said that cutting the speed from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads would protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92 million a year.
Most roads in Wales that are currently 30mph will become 20mph, although councils have discretion to impose exemptions.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said it is the “right thing to do”, citing a fall in urban road deaths in Spain after it made a similar change in 2019.
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