Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Road Safety a victim of Devo Dipyn Bach.?

The claim that Limited devolution may be harming road safety progress in Wales, by the UK motoring charity the RAC Foundation is of interest not only it what it says but because I believe it is the first time a UK wide organisation has called  for more powers for the Welsh Assembly 
Welsh roads have seen the smallest fall in deaths and serious injuries compared with other parts of the UK.
The RAC Foundation said the number fell by 15% in Wales in 2013, when compared with the average figure for 2005-09. The average fall across the UK was 23%.
Few road safety powers are devolved to Wales but funding comes from the Welsh government, the RAC pointed out.
In Northern Ireland, where road safety is fully devolved, the number of deaths and serious injuries fell by 35% in 2013.
In Scotland, where the Scottish Parliament has powers to set national speed limits and the drink drive limit, the number fell by 33%.
Powers over speed limits are set to be devolved to the Assembly in the next Wales Bill – although there are calls from the Welsh Liberal Democrats and the First Minister Carwyn Jones for drink driving limits to also be handed over to AMs.
A Welsh Government spokesman said:
 “Although we have some of the safest roads in the world, we are determined to reduce casualties. We work with other UK administrations when developing our policies to reduce causalities on Welsh roads.
“Our Road Safety Framework identifies measures to protect the most vulnerable road users with an aspiration to reach zero fatalities on Welsh roads in the future.
“Following a comprehensive review of safety on the trunk road network, in January we announced an extra £6.4m for a programme of works to improve safety at 280 locations.
“Last week, we awarded another £6m to road safety capital, training and education projects across Wales and next month we will be announcing a new fund to tackle motorcycle casualties.”

This is a issue that  shows once again that we in Wales have third rate devolution and when a respected UK wide charity acknowledges this its time that we demand the powers that Scotland have in one area.

But it of course must go further  the policy of giving Wales what I call Devo Dipyn Bach as opposed to Devo Max for Scotland id damaging peoples faith in the Assembly and its not helped by giving AM T a  18.5% pay (£10000)  rise only serves to enhance public dissolution with devolution in Wales.

When it comes to powers that can make the Welsh Assembly as relevent in our minds as the Scottish Parliament is to people there.  We should make the call.

We want it all and we want it now.

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