Lee Waters: 20mph Minister survives vote of no confidence in the Senedd

Wales' Deputy Minister for Climate Change faced the vote after the backlash the new speed limits have recieved.

The Deputy Minister responsible for the change in speed limits on most built-up roads in Wales has survived a vote of no confidence in the Senedd.

The Welsh Conservatives forced the vote, saying Lee Waters' position was "untenable" after the backlash the policy has had.

The motion was voted down by 42 votes to 16 with no abstentions.

As of September 17, 30mph roads have been reduced to 20mph where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists - something which was a manifesto commitment for Welsh Labour in the run-up to the 2021 Senedd election.

The move has proved controversial with a poll for ITV Wales revealing that just 33% of people support the policy, while 61% are opposed to it.

More than 440,000 people have signed a Senedd petition calling for a u-turn from the Welsh Government - making it by far the most signed petition the Welsh Parliament's history.

Dozens of people also took to the streets of Cardiff over the weekend to voice their opposition to the changes.

The backlash to the policy has seen the Welsh Conservatives force a vote of no confidence in the Deputy Climate Change Minister.

Several Welsh politicians have received abusive messages, since the introduction, including Mark Drakeford MS, who revealed he has been the subject of "vile" threats in the wake of the law being introduced.

South Wales Police say they have launched an investigation into "reports of malicious communications" sent to Wales' First Minister.

Commenting ahead of the vote of no confidence, Welsh Conservative Shadow Transport Minister, Natasha Asghar MS said: “Labour’s Deputy Minister is attempting to undermine the will of the overwhelming majority of Welsh people because he is unable to admit he has got it wrong on his blanket 20mph policy.

"The Deputy Minister must park his pride and roll back on his anti-road, anti-worker and anti-motorist agenda.

“The people of Wales have had enough. His position is untenable, it’s time for him to go.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “The introduction of a 20mph speed limit in mainly residential areas is designed to save lives and make our communities safer for everyone, including motorists.

"It has been thoroughly researched, voted on in the Senedd and received the backing from a majority of Senedd Members. There has been extensive consultation and it has been trialled in communities across Wales.”

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