COLUMN BY Stroud MP Siobhan Baillie 

I THINK 20mph limits in certain cases are a very good idea.

In dangerous parts of a road, outside schools or community centres, for example, they can often be a sensible measure to increase road safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians

Here in Stroud, I have supported areas like Slimbridge and Rodborough on their bids for 20mph on safety grounds but I believe in evidence-based decision making when using this measure.

Not blanket reductions.

And so, we come to Wales where on Sunday the Welsh Labour government forced through a 20mph limit on 7,700 miles of residential roads whether there is a safety issue or not.

Implementing the scheme requires altering 30,000 road signs at a cost of £32million.

Drivers who feel the need to slip into third gear could now face a speeding conviction and fine.

Some of the social media memes on this have been quite amusing. One showed a gear stick with only first, second and reverse on it with the quip it was a special model for the Welsh market.

But joking aside, this measure will deter jobs, investment and even tourists.

It is estimated it will cost the Welsh economy £4.5 billion with negligible evidence lives will be saved or pollution cut.

Many believe that motorists will largely ignore the 20mph limit and they will be largely impossible to police. Again blunting their effectiveness.

The RAC said it would be more effective to target areas such as on residential roads or in areas where there is high footfall.

My colleagues in Wales have vowed to end this motoring madness by Labour if they are elected. Wales is the natural comparison to our government as it shows what the opposition will do with power.

Expensive life meddling interventions like this without looking at how they impact real people are extremely worrying.

This marks the end of the column by Siobhan Baillie MP

The Welsh First Minister has rejected calls to scrap the controversial 20mph speed limit for residential roads in Wales after a record 175,000 people signed a petition against it.

On Sunday, Wales became the first country in the UK to drop the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph for restricted roads.

Mark Drakeford said the decision had twice been approved by the Senedd and despite the record-breaking petition asking the Welsh Government to “rescind and remove the disastrous 20mph law” he would not be scrapping the policy.

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the speed limit would protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92 million a year.

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.

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