From yesterday 20mph zones enforced in all built-up residential areas in Wales
Social media has been flooded with memes as the country mocks Wales’ hugely unpopular rollout of a 20mph speed limit.
Yesterday, Mark Drakeford’s Labour government pushed through with their enforcement of 20mph zones in all built-up residential areas in the country -ostensibly to save lives and cut costs for the NHS.
The scheme, which meant altering 30,000 road signs at a cost of £32million, has also been described as ‘anti-worker, anti-road and anti-motorist’ by Welsh conservatives who have vowed to repeal it.
And drivers have united across social media to share their distain for the new policy.
One mocked the low speeds with a picture of a dog riding on the back of a tortoise – with the caption ‘I’ll be there soon’.
The joker – called Paul – added: ‘In Wales most of the 30mph roads are now officially 20mph and dear god it is painfully slow to drive anywhere now.’
Drivers have united across social media to share their distain for the new policy – with one mocking the low speeds with a picture of a dog riding on the back of a tortoise
Another – Stephen Harris – posted a photo of a pensioner popping a wheelie as a gas cloud billows behind the screeching tyres of her mobility scooter
Even a shire horse farm even got in on the fun – joking that their plodding ponies could be fined under new regulations as they can reach speeds of up to 35mph
A fourth account posted a picture of a yellow and red children’s ride-on car – joking these were ‘New cars set for Wales’ under the slowed-down speeds
Drivers in Wales have began defacing new 20mph road signs in protest of Mark Drakeford’s new policy
The introduction of new 20mph zones in areas where it was traditionally 30mph has caused confusion
Another – Stephen Harris – posted a photo of a pensioner popping a wheelie as a gas cloud billows behind the screeching tyres of her mobility scooter.
In a dire incitement of the new speed limit, he laughed: ‘Expect to get overtaken by one of these.’
Even shire horse farm even got in on the fun – joking that their plodding ponies could be fined under new regulations as they can reach speeds of up to 35mph.
Dyfed Shire Horse Farm – the country’s only visitor attraction dedicated to the majestic breed – said: ‘Our shires might be caught out for speeding under new 20mph rules!!!’
A fourth account posted a picture of a yellow and red children’s ride-on car – joking these were ‘New cars set for Wales’ under the slowed-down speeds.
The policy has been slammed by drivers who say they will now be ‘changing between second and third gear all day’ – resulting in numerous new 20mph signs being painted over or defaced and over a hundred thousand people signing petitions to scrap the policy.
Elsewhere in the country, vandals have targeted new 20mph signs and either defaced or painted over them as an act of defiance.
Some Welsh motorists have reported feeling scared to drive on roads amid the threat of penalties and widespread confusion about the new rules.
One joker posted a photo of a gearstick with just first and second – while third, fourth and fifth had been blanked out
Another post showed a picture of a man with a red flag walking in front of an early motor car – a policy given to ‘horseless carriages’ in 1896
A third posted a photo of a driving skeleton – emblazoned with the words: ‘Where have you been? Sorry, sat nave took me through Wales!’
And another posted a picture of First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford’s head added to a skewed image of Wales’ national flag – with the dragon replaced by a red snail
But – making light of the situation – one joker posted a photo of a gearstick with just first and second – while third, fourth and fifth had been blanked out.
Laughing that cars sold in Wales were to be sold with the new mechanical device, they poked fun at the slow speeds drivers are now forced to maintain.
Another post showed a picture of a man with a red flag walking in front of an early motor car – a policy given to ‘horseless carriages’ in 1896.
Explaining the image, a social media user said: ‘Halfords stores in Wales are now offering a new service following the introduction of 20mph speed restrictions.’
A third posted a photo of a driving skeleton – emblazoned with the words: ‘Where have you been? Sorry, sat nave took me through Wales!’
And another posted a picture of First Minister for Wales Mark Drakeford’s head added to a skewed image of Wales’ national flag – with the dragon replaced by a red snail.
Photos show furious drivers have now stared fighting back against the scheme by vandalising the newly-erected speed limit signs themselves.
Drivers taking to the road were also left confused as many local authorities failed to put up the new signs ahead of the 20mph limit coming into force.
Over a hundred thousand people have signed petitions demanding that the new limits are scrapped
A car can be seen screeching to a halt as it suddenly enters the 20mph zone
Some drivers said they were ‘scared’ to go out in case of being trapped by police, static cameras and mobile speed vans, with one elderly couple having cancelled their trip to Aberystwyth to visit family due to their fear of getting a £100 fine.
Ministers have said motorists caught driving over the 20mph limit, but under speeds of 20mph, will initially be given advice by police instead of being given tickets.
At Llandudno a 40mph restriction remained on a winding section of road where there have been a number of smashes – even as the limit was cut to 20mph on long clear stretches.
A group of Welsh lorry drivers also apologised in advance as they vowed to trundle along at 19mph in opposition to the plans.
But despite heavy opposition from drivers, pro-slow campaigners like 20’s Plenty For Us have vowed to continue their efforts to turn even more of the country 20mph ‘for the good of the majority.’
The group’s founder Rod King MBE told MailOnline: ’20mph zones have been increasing for the last 15 years and it’s a reasonable assumption that we will have more of them.
‘Year on year more and more local authorities are setting these limits because that’s what communities want: more liveable communities. It delivers a whole range of objectives local authorities have including reducing the number of road casualties and reducing emissions.
‘You only have to look on the road to see that some people don’t like to drive at a speed that others consider reasonable.
The new policy has been incredibly unpopular with certain quarters of the Welsh population
Some Welsh motorists have reported feeling scared to drive on roads
‘We know that 70% of people are in favour of 20mph on residential roads. 14% aren’t, so they’ll be very upset, I don’t know why, but they’ll be upset.
‘It’s the same for everything that’s done in society for the benefit of the majority.’
The 70% approval figure quoted by Mr King relates to a 2019 national travel attitudes study undertaken by the government which has been criticised by pro-motorists organisations’ like the Alliance of British Drivers.
Ian Taylor is a director of the ABD and claimed the way new 20mph limits were targeted at the public was dishonest.
He told MailOnline: ‘I know some authorities claim people clamour for it, and it is with consent, but I fear they only phrase their questions in such a way as to guarantee the answer, weaponizing safety concerns against motorists. In other words, you can’t always trust some of these surveys.
‘For example, if you make the whole thing hinge around Do you agree with measures that would reduce road deaths and casualties.
‘Nobody’s going to answer no, and you know everyone’s going to answer yes.
‘The question then is :do all these speed limits actually reduce road casualties, accidents and deaths?
Since the 20mph speed flip was announced there has been a wave of protest at the policy
Drivers have begun to deface signs in Wales warning of the new limits
‘The answer is, not particularly you’ll always find somewhere where they do. But there’s other places where they don’t. In fact, sometimes it even goes the other way.
‘Every few years a politician who wants to get elected stands up and says we’ll end the war on motorists. But, in fact, what we’re finding is it is actually not only not ended.
‘It’s actually intensified.’
Since the 20mph speed flip was announced there has been a wave of protest at the policy across Wales with hundreds of thousands of people signing petitions to stop the change.
Now that the limit is here, many road users believe the policy is pointless.
Delivery courier Lewis Price, 28, of Powys, told MailOnline: ‘It’s a massive waste of money to change the speed signs all over Wales.
‘As a professional driver I’m not looking forward to constantly changing between second and third gear all day in built up areas.
‘I also think it’s devisive – people in England may not come to Wales because they won’t be sure what the rules are. They are confusing for us and we live here.
‘If you are over the speed limit by a lot you could lose your license.’
Father-of- two Rafal Klokec, who is originally from Poland but now lives in Merthyr Tydfil, said the roads are ‘way too slow’
Carpenter John Mills, from Merthyr Tydfil, described the new 20mph limit as ‘pathetic’
Others like NHS nurse and mother-of-two Natalie Davies, 43, of Merthyr Tydfil believe the difference will be negligible.
She said: ‘I can see it will be frustrating on longer journeys but people will get used to it.
‘It’s not gone down favourably but I’ve driven a short distance to the shops today and didn’t notice any difference.’
Meanwhile, Maintenance supervisor Chris Lewis, 42, of Ebbw Vale suggested that the real toll of the limit wasn’t being explained to drivers honestly.
He said: ‘I have my doubts about the figures we’ve been given that an average journey will take just an extra 63 seconds.
‘It will put a few minutes on my journey to and from work every day.
‘From a safety point of view but we will all be spending more time in our cars.’
Father-of- two Rafal Klokec, originally from Poland said: ‘It’s way too slow, people have to get around for their jobs and to take their children to school.
‘In Poland it’s 50 km an hour which is more than the 30 mph everyone is used to here.’
Carpenter John Mills also described the new 20mph limit as ‘pathetic’.
He said: ‘I dropped down to 20mph after passing a sign earlier. It was like I was standing still.
‘I don’t think people will adhere to
‘Everyone is so used to 30mph. The Welsh Government should have spent the money on hospitals or cancer research – something far more worthwhile.’News Related
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