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Emergency workers voice concerns over 20mph speed limit

20mph <i>(Image: File)</i>
20mph (Image: File)

EMERGENCY workers across South Wales have expressed concerns to their local members of the Senedd about the new 20mph speed restrictions.

The restrictions have been in place across Wales since September 17 - and now emergency workers have written to secretary of state for Wales David Davies to share their worry about having to adhere to these limits when responding to emergencies.

Mr Davies has responded to these concerns by writing to deputy minister for climate change Lee Waters for some clarity on the subject.

According to the letter, the main concern of many emergency workers is that the new 20mph speed limit could put more lives at increased risk if it takes longer for staff to respond to an emergency call out.

In the letter, Mr Davies explains that the person who contacted him "was under the impression that retained firefighters and lifeboat service volunteers will be expected to drive at the 20mph limit" even if it is in response to an emergency.

Upon asking for clarity, Mr Davies expressed his thoughts that "this cannot be correct" as lives would be at risk.

Mr Waters explained in his response that all emergency workers he has had discussions with are in favour of the limits.

He also highlighted the fact that "response times vary accordingly" and that not all workers will travel on 20mph roads, or indeed, solely by car.

According to Mr Waters, the Welsh Government, as a result, do not "foresee the default 20mph limit adversely affecting overall response times."

Mr Davies said in reaction to Mr Waters' response:  “It’s becoming clearer by the day that the Labour Welsh Government has thrown together its 20mph rollout without any serious thought or consideration.

“Labour’s latest 20mph debacle now involves firefighters and lifeboat service volunteers, who are concerned about the severe effect on-call response times could potentially be hit by.

“Waiting lists in Wales are already the worst in the UK – and volunteers are concerned that the new default speed limit will hamper the time it takes them to reach the appropriate building to then assist in an emergency.

“Labour’s recent action is a classic example of the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing."