Today Sunday (Sep 17) the new default 20mph comes into force. It means that on many roads previously set at 30mph the limit will now be 20mph unless otherwise indicated.
I travelled from Cynwyl Elfed to Llanelli today and was surprised at how many motorists were sticking to the limit. There was however some confusion as at times there were three different sets of signs with differing limits. Digital signs had not been calibrated. At one point I went from 30 to 40 to 50 within 100 yards.
The changes did not add an exceptional amount of time on my journey apart from long stretches of road where the 20mph applied. I did note that drivers were driving closer to each other than usual.
The interesting thing was that when I was out of the 20mph zone I noted drivers speeding up and exceeding the limit in those zones. Were trying to make up for lost time? Perhaps this is the factor Welsh Government research bods had not considered. Will we see an increase in road traffic collisions on these roads outside of the 20mph as a result?
There is a slight anomaly in that we are told that there is this huge drive to becoming carbon net zero and yet the very same people are extremely vocal in their support of Tata Steel. Politicians appear to be in a panic to make sure it remains open and as some or all climate change activists would say; continue polluting the environment. But wait, there are developments.
The UK Government and Tata Steel have agreed on a proposed joint investment package which will secure a sustainable future for steelmaking in Port Talbot, modernise production of greener steel and protect skilled jobs, subject to consultation and regulatory approvals.
Tata Steel is expected to invest £1.25 billion, including a UK Government grant worth up to £500 million – one of the largest government support packages in history – in a new Electric Arc Furnace for greener steel production at Port Talbot, which is currently the UK’s largest single carbon emitter.
This would replace the existing coal-powered blast furnaces – which are nearing the end of their effective life – and reduce the UK’s entire carbon emissions by around 1.5 percent as a result. There
Tata Steel UK employs over 8,000 people, including at Port Talbot, which would otherwise be under serious threat without substantial investment to guarantee its future. Tata Steel also supports around 12,500 further jobs in the upstream supply chain.
Thanks to UK Government intervention, it is expected that the proposal announced September 15th – which remains subject to information and consultation processes led by Tata Steel – has the potential to safeguard over 5,000 jobs across the UK.
The UK Government would also ensure a broad range of support for any staff who are affected by the transition, working with the Welsh Government and Tata Steel to establish a dedicated transition board to support both affected employees and the local economy, with up to £100m funding.
Good news for Tata then but there will be many questioning the logic and the financials as well as the lack of thinking ‘outside the box’ by those same bods who decreed that the 20mph would save Wales and the tax payer money. The speeding fines will magically leave the country (Wales).
Hungry children, crumbling schools, an NHS in crisis, rising unemployment appalling public service and roads system and of course there is no one but no one else to blame apart from those really bad people at Westminster, well the ones with blue rosettes at election time.
The Port Talbot plant is the biggest industrial contributor to carbon emissions in Wales at around 5.8 million tonnes a year. Climate change activists dare not set foot there and for good reason. If anything it does open up a debate as to what the plan actually is for Wales when the ordinary Joe finds themselves struggling to pay the bills and feed the children while stressing out over getting to work without being fined or hitting one of those holier than thou lycra clad greens thundering on the outside of you at 30mph if their wind is in the right direction. What would that kind of investment do for the NHS or education system?
Motorists outnumber Labour voters in Wales and so it will be very interesting to see if any of the dynamics being played out on social media come into play at the next Senedd elections. After all, whatever bad things happen in Wales really is only but only the fault of those pesky Westminster (cons) ne’er-do-wells.