There is still uncertainty about fines arising from fixed speed cameras following the introduction of the 20mph legislation, according to the FSB in Wales.
Ben Cottam, Head of Wales at the Federation of Small Businesses in Wales, said:
“Welsh Government’s new 20mph legislation which came into effect on Sunday, is a significant new law which will take time for individuals and businesses to become accustomed to and familiar with.
“Despite the national coverage it has garnered, it would be wrong to assume that everyone is aware of the change, and when it comes into force. That’s why FSB Wales is urging Welsh Government to commit to a sustained information campaign that extends well beyond the implementation phase to ensure heightened awareness.
“While awareness grows, we welcome assurances from the Welsh Government that the focus of police officers in the initial stages of the rollout will rightly be on advisory action, rather than automatic fines, thus allowing people time to adjust to different speed limits. However, there is still uncertainty about fines arising from fixed speed cameras. For many, such as tradespeople, their businesses may depend on the ability to drive or to have clean licences and so cannot afford to accumulate points inadvertently as a result of any confusion on the new measure. Insurance premiums can also be impacted by points. Further clarity must also be given to speed camera infringement in the early stages.
“It is crucial that any concerns of individuals and small businesses must be listened to, as the legislation comes into force to understand the impact. We know that concern as well as support will be as varied across business as it is across the wider population, so engagement is key to the coming months.
“Some small firms, particularly those in delivery and taxi sectors, have lately raised legitimate concerns about the new law and the impact it could have on them. It is important that concerns of this nature are addressed and not lost throughout the process of implementation and beyond. However, we know too that some high street businesses have spoken publicly about the potential improvements in the high street environment caused by slower speeds in build-up areas. All this feedback will be important to informing the impact and implementation of the law.
“FSB Wales, therefore welcomes the resolution of the Senedd requiring Welsh Government to undertake a review of the regulation, and we feel that this should include a specific assessment of economic impact. We will look forward to seeing early detail of how this will be executed how evidence will be gathered, and importantly, how small firms and representative organisations will be included within this process.
“Locally too, it is important that the local authorities which will become responsible for this measure from Sunday, are clear about the way they go about consulting with businesses on the issue of its impact and any conversations about the case for possible exemptions.
“Both Welsh Government and local councils must work together to ensure the new 20mph zones are kept under review, to ensure the new law is implemented in a way that is clearly communicated, properly evaluated and adjustable where appropriate.
“Alongside this, we will seek to engage with our members and partners across business and the wider economy not only to inform of the changes to ensure awareness but understand any future impacts whatever those might be”.