Fury over Wales 20mph speed limits as Mark Drakeford accused of ‘power grab’

Business manager Mark Jones and Mark Drakeford

Mark Jones has blasted Mark Drakeford's 20mph speed limits

Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 21/09/2023

- 16:20

Welsh roads have undergone a radical overhaul

Mark Drakeford’s 20mph speed limit imposition is “about money and control”, a business owner has complained in a scathing rant.

Mark Jones, Manager of Bzams Bed’z and Mattresses, spoke to GB News about how the radical overhaul of laws on Welsh roads has impacted his business.

It comes as a petition calling for the reversal of new speed limits in the country became the most signed in Senedd history.

Jones told Pip Thomson and Martin Daubney the suggestion new laws will weaken carbon emissions is naive, arguing that it will have the opposite effect.


“I had to travel over an hour and a half more on a journey I took for work”, he said.

“My engine was running a lot longer. You’re putting more strain on the engine, the gear box, the clutch.


“With the engine running a lot longer, I don’t see how that is going to save lives because it’s going to mean more pollution in the air.”

Daubney asked Jones whether people in Wales are likely to become more “resentful” of the political class as a result of the controversial policy.

“It just seems to be about money, power and control”, he told GB News.

“I don’t think they care for us to be honest. There’s holes all over the roads, they don’t seem to care that it’s affecting business a lot more.”

A 20mph speed limit signWales will make 20mph the default speed for restricted roads PA

Pip Thomson commented that many will argue the lower speeds will put less lives at risk, adding that Jones may feel differently had one of his loved ones been caught up in a high speed incident.

The business owner responded by arguing that he had been caught up in a road incident himself, but it has done little to deter him from opposing plan.

“I got hit by a car four years ago and my case is still ongoing”, he said.

“I got hit at 30mph and I went over the car. If I got hit at 20mph, I would have hit the window and got a lot more damage.

“I’m in favour of the 30mph more than the 20mph.”

Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford remains steadfast in his assertion that the significant reduction in speed limit is the way to go, despite a record 175,000 people signing a petition against it.

The change came on Sunday, resulting in Wales becoming the first country in the UK to drop the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph for restricted roads.

The Labour-led Welsh Government insist that lives will be protected by the policy, meaning the NHS in Wales could save an extra £92 million a year as a result.

It is predicting the change would save up to 100 lives and 20,000 casualties in the first decade.

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

The project is costing around £33 million to implement and has proven controversial, with reports of the new 20mph signs being defaced in areas including Conwy, Gwynedd, Newport, Torfaen, Wrexham and Flintshire.

Drakeford told Senedd members the cut in residential speed limits would save lives.

“That is why this Government will stick fast to the decision that we have made, endorsed twice on the floor of the Senedd, not by a simple majority, but by a super majority, because of the human stories that lie behind the decision we have made and will go on implementing here in Wales,” he said.

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