Fury at Labour's 'madcap' 20mph speed limit in Wales as 80,000 demand it is axed

More than 80,000 people have signed a petition demanding the new 20mph speed limit in Labour-run Wales is scrapped.

The default speed limit for residential roads was yesterday dropped from 30mph to 20mph.

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the speed limit would protect lives and save NHS resources.

But a petition on the Senedd's website calling for the move to be reversed has hit 80,000 signatures, including over 60,000 in the last 24 hours.

The Welsh Conservatives said the petition - which is set to be debated by the Welsh Parliament's petitions committee - shows that motorists are fed up just one day in.

Natasha Asghar, the Tory shadow transport minister, said: "The new blanket 20mph speed limit has been in place for just one day and already people have had enough of it.

"This highlights that there has been little to no consultation with the general public, the Labour Government have clearly avoided all public scrutiny in a bid to get their socialist agenda pushed through.

"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.

"With this ludicrous policy forced on the people of Wales, Labour can still U-turn on this disastrous rollout and deliver what Wales wants by scrapping blanket 20mph zones across Wales."

Critics have pointed to the £33 cost to implement the scheme, while it is estimated to hit the Welsh economy by up to £9 billion.

Lee Waters, deputy minister for climate change, admitted "decisions like this can be unpopular".

He said: "It's simple - slower speeds save lives and helps create safer communities for those that live there. Evidence shows that a vehicle travelling at 30mph will still be travelling at 24mph when it takes a car travelling 20mph to stop.

"We know decisions like this can be unpopular and we know that change is never easy, but what's one minute on your journey time if it saves a life and reduces a lifetime of human misery for families affected."

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

The project has proved controversial with reports of the new 20mph signs being defaced in areas including Conwy, Gwynedd, Newport, Torfaen, Wrexham and Flintshire.

As more than 10,000 people have signed the petition, it will be sent to the Senedd's petitions committee for a debate.

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