PROTESTERS of the default 20mph limit on Welsh roads handed in their record-breaking petition to the Senedd this afternoon, March 13.

The online petition - titled “We want the Welsh Government to rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law” - will close having accrued around 470,000 signatures.

Both candidates hoping to succeed Mark Drakeford as first minister, economy minister Vaughan Gething and education minister Jeremy Miles, have pledged to honour a review of the rollout but continue to support the slower limit in principle.

Mark Baker, who submitted the petition, has become something of a reluctant celebrity in the protest community.

He told the Argus today the Senedd rejected an earlier version of the petition which called for deputy climate change minister Lee Waters to be "sacked" and included “colourful” language.

READ MORE: 20mph minister hails 'turning point' as data shows lower speeds on Welsh roads

“I didn’t expect it to go like this,” he said.

South Wales Argus: Mark Baker, who started the petition, has become something of a celebrity among 20mph protestersMark Baker, who started the petition, has become something of a celebrity among 20mph protesters (Image: Sam Portillo)

“Three or four days in, I woke up to find it was on about 8,000 signatures. I’ve put a petition in a few times in my life, and none of them get traction - but this one did.”

Mr Baker, from Bridgend, says 20mph is the “number one issue” in Wales, alongside other roadbuilding and transport policies which he describes as a “war on motorists”.

“We haven’t had a vote on any of this," he said. 

"20mph was a nine-word sentence in the Labour manifesto, about residential areas. Perfect example is my local industrial estate, which is 20mph, and there’s no houses there. So, why is it 20mph?”


Welsh Conservative shadow transport minister Natasha Asghar said Mr Baker's petition had made the Senedd "quiver" and praised protesters for their persistent campaign.

“I think the public has won the argument,” she said. “The sheer number of signatures that have been received for this petition - the people have spoken. They don’t want it as a blanket 20mph.”

READ MORE: Tory crowned devolved politician of year for 'tireless battling' against 20mph limit

The South Wales East MS says the Welsh Conservatives would reverse the policy on “day one” in government - something she says would cost less than the original implementation.

South Wales Argus: Ms Asghar said the petition had made the Senedd 'quiver'Ms Asghar said the petition had made the Senedd 'quiver' (Image: Sam Portillo)

“The 30mph signs have been taken down by councils. They haven’t been burned; they haven’t been destroyed," she said.

"We don’t know where they are - they could be in a garden shed for all we know. So if they are still available - we’re all for recycling."

The government could have achieved better road safety outcomes, she says, by pursuing a public awareness campaign like the one used in London to discourage phone use while driving.

“Look, I don't want people to die as much as the next person. I don't want anyone to think that I'm all for road raging," she said.

“I understand governments want to see a cleaner, greener society for us all, but I think they’ve pushed an agenda and didn’t get the public on board.”