Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Pete Owens
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Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by Pete Owens »

thirdcrank wrote: 13 Jul 2021, 10:38am So why don't they just get on with it?
I was wondering that myself. They made the decision to do this several years ago, but since then there seems to be endless prevarication, pilot studies, an election in which it featured as a manifesto commitment and now a consultation excercise.

The most likely explanation is that there is a behind the scenes rearguard action by opponents of reduced speed limits within the administration trying to sabotage or at least delay the implementation. While they cannot openly act in direct oposition to the government policy, they can attempt to dely and subvert the implementation.
pwa
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Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by pwa »

I think there is good reason for the Welsh Government to move cautiously and methodically with this. They know, and we know, that it will be controversial when the 20 limit paint starts to appear on tarmac in each and every neighbourhood at the same time, so it is wise to have all the studies in place to justify the changes. To do otherwise would simply give ammo to the opposition. So far, opposition has been muted. I live close to one of the pilots and opposition feels like a bit of muttering, nothing more. If we want to make progress, it is useful to keep it that way. And presumably the pilots will be used to draw up guidance for councils on where to implement the new 20 limits and where to make exceptions and retain a 30 limit.
Jdsk
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Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by Jdsk »

pwa wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 5:30am I think there is good reason for the Welsh Government to move cautiously and methodically with this. They know, and we know, that it will be controversial when the 20 limit paint starts to appear on tarmac in each and every neighbourhood at the same time, so it is wise to have all the studies in place to justify the changes. To do otherwise would simply give ammo to the opposition. So far, opposition has been muted. I live close to one of the pilots and opposition feels like a bit of muttering, nothing more. If we want to make progress, it is useful to keep it that way. And presumably the pilots will be used to draw up guidance for councils on where to implement the new 20 limits and where to make exceptions and retain a 30 limit.
That sounds right to me. It's a social democracy not a special interest group.

I hope that the pilots are openly and independently evaluated.

And that the communication is a lot better than it has been with LTNs in England.

Jonathan
Pete Owens
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Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by Pete Owens »

pwa wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 5:30am I think there is good reason for the Welsh Government to move cautiously and methodically with this.
Only if you are resolutely opposed to apriate speed limits - and trying to delay the implementation.
They know, and we know, that it will be controversial when the 20 limit paint starts to appear on tarmac in each and every neighbourhood at the same time, so it is wise to have all the studies in place to justify the changes.
The studies have been in for a long time - the relation between speed and safety is welll established and entirely uncontroversial. Doing yet more small scale "pilot" schemes within the principalty as if there was nothing to learn from the rest of the world won't add a jot to the sum of human knowledge. However, there will certainly be statistical anomolies within the data and these are certain to br searched out and latched onto by opponents of 20mph-just as they have done with every other small scale pilot study over the past couple of decades.
To do otherwise would simply give ammo to the opposition.
This argument is absurd beyond belief.
If you surrender to the opposition then they don't need any ammo.
So far, opposition has been muted.
That is because low speed limits are overwhelmingly popular - whatever you might read in the righwing press.

When Warrington eventually (after a simarly long drawn out process of obstruction by officials) implemented bourough wide 20mph limits there was not a single objection to any of the traffic orders. The only complaints were from those living on streets that were missed out from the scheme.
I live close to one of the pilots and opposition feels like a bit of muttering, nothing more. If we want to make progress, it is useful to keep it that way. And presumably the pilots will be used to draw up guidance for councils on where to implement the new 20 limits and where to make exceptions and retain a 30 limit.
And that exactly describes the process of subverting the policy altogether.

An initial policy to set a national urban limit of 20 mph is downgraded to a set of guidelines to be implemented piecemeal by local authorities - ie exactly the situation that applies at the moment.

And without the officials openly admitting to obstructing the elected government.
Last edited by Pete Owens on 19 Jul 2021, 5:01pm, edited 1 time in total.
Pete Owens
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Joined: 7 Jul 2008, 12:52am

Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by Pete Owens »

Jdsk wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 10:08am
pwa wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 5:30am I think there is good reason for the Welsh Government to move cautiously and methodically with this. They know, and we know, that it will be controversial when the 20 limit paint starts to appear on tarmac in each and every neighbourhood at the same time, so it is wise to have all the studies in place to justify the changes. To do otherwise would simply give ammo to the opposition. So far, opposition has been muted. I live close to one of the pilots and opposition feels like a bit of muttering, nothing more. If we want to make progress, it is useful to keep it that way. And presumably the pilots will be used to draw up guidance for councils on where to implement the new 20 limits and where to make exceptions and retain a 30 limit.
That sounds right to me. It's a social democracy not a special interest group.
You seem to have trouble with the "democracy" bit of that sentence.

The Welsh people have decided through their elected representatives that they want to prohibit high speed traffic from their streets. Doubly so in this case since it is a commitment explicitly featuring in the party manifesto.

In a democracy, the role of officials is to implement that policy - not to endlessly prevaricate, seek to delay. limit, or overturn that decision. It is legitimate for them to work on practical details and timing of the implementation - how long will it take to change the road signs. But, obstructing the will of the government by endless delays, consultations and research is anti-democratic.
thirdcrank
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Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by thirdcrank »

I think I've already made my view clear on the way this has been (mis)handled. It's a pretty good case study of the way our pluralist democracy operates.

To express an interest, I have none.
pwa
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Joined: 2 Oct 2011, 8:55pm

Re: Welsh Government launch consultation on reducing speed limits from 30mph to 20mph

Post by pwa »

Pete Owens wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 4:58pm
Jdsk wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 10:08am
pwa wrote: 19 Jul 2021, 5:30am I think there is good reason for the Welsh Government to move cautiously and methodically with this. They know, and we know, that it will be controversial when the 20 limit paint starts to appear on tarmac in each and every neighbourhood at the same time, so it is wise to have all the studies in place to justify the changes. To do otherwise would simply give ammo to the opposition. So far, opposition has been muted. I live close to one of the pilots and opposition feels like a bit of muttering, nothing more. If we want to make progress, it is useful to keep it that way. And presumably the pilots will be used to draw up guidance for councils on where to implement the new 20 limits and where to make exceptions and retain a 30 limit.
That sounds right to me. It's a social democracy not a special interest group.
You seem to have trouble with the "democracy" bit of that sentence.

The Welsh people have decided through their elected representatives that they want to prohibit high speed traffic from their streets. Doubly so in this case since it is a commitment explicitly featuring in the party manifesto.

In a democracy, the role of officials is to implement that policy - not to endlessly prevaricate, seek to delay. limit, or overturn that decision. It is legitimate for them to work on practical details and timing of the implementation - how long will it take to change the road signs. But, obstructing the will of the government by endless delays, consultations and research is anti-democratic.
The bit in bold is an incorrect reading of what happened at the last General Election. It may have been in the manifesto but nobody was talking about it and nobody voted one way or the other because of it. People voted in line with their views on Boris, Brexit, Corbyn and a general feeling about Welsh Labour, with transport issues barely getting a look in. It would have been foolish for the Welsh Government to proceed with an excess of haste, missing out preparation that could make the end product better. And if you are so sceptical about their motivation, explain why they cancelled plans for the M4 Relief Road that the UK Government favours. They have gone so far as to remove planning constraints that have prevented the route of that planned new motorway being developed for other purposes. I suggest that Welsh Labour are acting like they believe motor traffic needs to be suppressed.

I don't know exactly what they hope to learn from the current pilot studies, but I hope it includes how to recognise roads that should or should not be exceptions to the default 20mph. And there should be exceptions. One road near the centre of Bridgend is a 30mph dual carriageway on which, if you weren't paying attention you might be wondering whether it is 30, 40 or 50, until you round the corner and see the pedestrian crossing. I'd suggest 30 is right, 20 is too slow and would undermine the whole regime with contempt. In the pilot area of St Brides Major about half the new 20 stretch on the main road makes good sense and feels right, with all the pedestrians, parked cars, poor sight lines and so forth. But the other half has far fewer homes, very few pedestrians, is straighter and free of parked cars, and 30 makes more sense. Maybe the study will bring that out and suggest useful ways of identifying where 20 is right and where it isn't, on Welsh roads. Ideally each highways authority will be given a tool kit to assist their decision making process.
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