Mark Drakeford slammed for 20mph ULEZ-style zones over tourist industry fears

Welsh businesses have slammed the soon-to-be enforced speed limits as Mark Drakeford implements new ULEZ-style zones.

Drivers have warned that checking speedometers will take precedence over watching the road, as new ULEZ-style zones come into play.

The new restrictions start this week (September 17) after being set out by Mark Drakeford, and drivers will see their speed limit restricted to 20mph on most residential roads in the country.

Although the introduction of the speed limit is causing a huge stir among their residents, ministers argue that the restrictions will save lives, lead to fewer road injuries, save money for the NHS and generally make neighbourhoods safer and more pleasant to live in.

But now, Local businesses are reportedly concerned that the new zones will deter tourists from visiting and therefore some will struggle to make ends meet without the additional money made from holidaymakers.

The Welsh government released leaflets that state: “Most journeys will be around a minute longer” but residents disagree, instead believing it will make most journeys take far longer.

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Catering boss Jamie O’Leary, 42, told the Daily Mail: “I don’t believe their figures – most journeys will be a lot longer. You have to factor in that some drivers will go below the speed limit because they don’t want to get caught.

“This will seriously affect supply chains coming into Wales. Delivery drivers aren’t going to want to come here if it’s going to add a third onto their journeys.

“And tourists won’t come to Wales if they fear a £100 fine and three points on their licence. They will have to change their mindset every time they cross the Severn Bridge.

“Most people in Wales think Mark Drakeford’s got this wrong – he doesn’t even drive a car these days. It’s hard to drive at 20mph, the car doesn’t know whether to go up to third gear or labour in second.”

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The leaflet continues: ”When you see streetlights assume the speed limit is 20mph unless you see signs that say otherwise.”

Another resident, Rob Williams, 54, of Treherbert, Rhondda, told the tabloid: “That’s going to clog up every street, every morning and evening in every town and village in Wales.

“It will lead to more crashes because drivers will be going along checking their speedos and not looking at the road in front of them.”

“People on the school run on Monday should be prepared for drivers running into the back of them.

“If you ask me it’s a money-making exercise and they’re turning Wales into snails.”

Customers at the West End Cafe in Llandovery have slammed the law change as “ridiculous”

Barney John, of Neath, South Wales, told the tabloid: “The A470 which connects North and South Wales is 60mph outside Newbridge-on-Wye then it goes down to 20mph for 500 yards. It’s ridiculous.

“Part of their argument is emissions but my car runs more efficiently at 50mph than at 20.”

Mr Drakeford told residents they will be allowed to “get used” to the new limit from Sunday when the law officially comes into play.

He told BBC Breakfast: “I anticipate that there will be a number of weeks while people get used to a change of this sort. It is a major change. It will need time to bed in.

‘It is not a change that is being introduced in order to make life difficult for people and therefore the enforcement authorities will approach it in that way.”

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