By Mark Isherwood

MS for North Wales

Labour and Plaid Cymru voted through the Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) Order, which will impose reduced speed limits on restricted roads across Wales, from 30mph to 20mph.

The Minister for Climate Change referred to recently published Police recorded road accidents for 2021, which she said show that “over half of all road accidents – 53% - occurred on 30 mph roads”, adding “52% of all casualties were killed on 30 mph roads during 2019”.

Intervening, I pointed out “that 3% of the accidents occur on 20 mph roads, but they only account for 2.5% of roads in Wales. So, actually, the accident rate is higher by 0.5% and pretty much aligned with the accident rate on 30 mph roads”.

Analysis by Transport for Wales found that the change could increase 20mph speed limits to 36.9% of roads in Wales.

I agree with having reduced speed limits on roads where there is high pedestrian vulnerability, such as outside schools, playgrounds and high streets where cars are permitted, but believe the limit should remain at 30mph elsewhere, and I am not alone.

A petition to stop blanket 20mph speed limits, which was started by a Buckley resident after the 20mph limit was piloted there, had received 28,400 signatures by 5pm Sunday.

I challenged the Health Minister over the shortage of NHS dental services across North Wales. Having previously been told by the Minister that they were “making good progress with the recovery of dental services”, I said that “people are in pain now” and asked what action she is taking for the people who need relief now.

Speaking in the Welsh Conservative Debate on ‘Hepatitis C’, I said “action is needed to get the Hepatitis C elimination journey in Wales back on track”, noted that the other UK nations have targets to eliminate the virus (HCV) ahead of 2030, and called on the Welsh Government to develop a National Strategic Plan to deliver elimination of HCV by 2030.

Other engagements included Carers Trust Round Table, where young and young adult carers from Wrexham told me about their experiences and the changes they would like to see; Chairing both the Senedd/Welsh Parliament Public Accounts and Public Administration Committee and the Cross-Party Group on Fuel Poverty and Energy Efficiency; RCN Wales ‘improving nursing retention’ event; Cross Party Group on the Armed Forces and Cadets; ‘Ending Water Poverty in Wales’ event; Feminist Scorecard 2022 Launch; and a visit to Penderyn Distillery Llandudno.

If you need my help, email Mark.Isherwood@senedd.wales or call 0300 200 7219.