New 20mph speed limit rules could ‘increase costs’ for everyone, claims expert

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New 20mph speed limit driving laws introduced in Wales could increase costs for everyone around the whole country, according to an expert.

Amanda Stretton, a former racing driver turned TV presenter, admitted the new policy could have a major “knock-on effect”.

She even stressed that the ramifications felt further than Wales with prices for goods and services also expected to rise.

Ms Stretton said she generally backed the concept of reducing speed limits but said more consultation was needed.

Speaking to Times Radio, she said: “Motorists are under huge amounts of pressure regardless of the type of car you drive whether it’s internal combustion or electric.

“Costs are just going up and up and up. There seems to be very little let-up to the motorists.

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“It’s really important to emphasise. It’s not just motorists. Every single one of us whether you have never driven a car in your life, you rely on goods and services being delivered to you by road.

“Somehow it is going to have a knock-on effect and by reducing these speed limits carte blanche across all built-up areas, it is going to affect the time and therefore the money.

“And therefore people are just going to see further increases, prices nudging their way upwards just a bit again. And it hurts, it hurts everybody.”

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According to the Welsh Government, the introduction of 20mph speed limits will cost a staggering £32million. However, they claim the cost is ”outweighed” by the possible casualty prevention savings and reduced impact on the NHS.

The Sennedd claimed that a public health study estimated the 20mph speed restrictions could result in 40 percent fewer collisions every year.

This could save the lives of between six and 10 people every 12 months with up to 2,000 people avoiding injury.

Officials also claim the policy will make streets and communities safer, reduce noise pollution and encourage more people to walk or cycle.

However, Ms Stretton has called out the assumption that the scheme will encourage locals to ditch their cars.

She explained: “It’s all well and good saying it’s encouraging people to alternative forms of transport in Wales in particular, the majority of Wales is pretty rural.

“So what are people supposed to do? Bring a bicycle with them and then park their car outside a town and get on a bike? It’s just not practical.

“Motorists need sensible and cost-effective alternatives if they are going to be beaten with a stick rather than incentivised with a carrot.”

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