A WELSH CONSERVATIVE politician has posed with anti-20mph protesters outside the Senedd after initially lending her support to the slower limit.

Laura Anne Jones, MS for South Wales East, was one of 45 members to back the Welsh Government’s motion to introduce a 20mph limit for restricted roads on July 15, 2020.

In effect, the vote, which followed the 20mph task force’s Final Report, stood as an endorsement of the government's plans, research demonstrating the road safety benefits and rollout of pilot schemes as a precursor to any national change.

At this stage, Clwyd West MS Darren Millar was the only Welsh Conservative to vote against the government’s plans.

On the same day, Ms Jones and other Conservative members backed a Plaid Cymru amendment calling on the government to explain how enforcement agencies might be able to “respond” to the order.

‘Widespread anger’

Before the Welsh Conservatives’ vote of no confidence in Deputy Minister Lee Waters yesterday, Wednesday, September 27, Ms Jones said that protesters and constituents had told her their journeys had been extended by 15 to 45 minutes.

“This causes huge frustration and has caused huge frustration. It has a direct impact on getting to work, childcare and appointments,” she said.

Anonymised satnav data from the first week of 20mph suggested an average increase in journey times of only one minute.

Ms Jones said: “This legislation has provoked widespread anger, chaos and confusion right across Wales.

Barry And District News: Laura Anne Jones MS

“May I be so bold to say that not one member here is against looking into road safety. Not one of us would vote against 20mph outside schools or hospitals.

“The non-binding member debate that I voted in four years ago was based on the limited evidence we had before us and therefore called for more evidence to be gathered on introducing more 20mph [limits] in residential areas.

“It was not a vote on Welsh Government’s default blanket 20mph approach and instead was intended to gather evidence and see what the impact of this would be on reality.

“The important and binding vote, as you know, on those regulations was the Traffic Order brought forward in the Senedd in July 2022 which I voted against.”