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Traffic orders proposal will 'imperil future of Welsh press'

9 December 2011

A Welsh government proposal to remove the obligation on local authorities to advertise traffic orders in newspapers will severely damage Wales's fragile press industry and destroy jobs, the National Union of Journalists has warned.

Carl Sargeant, Transport minister, has launched a formal consultation on the proposal. He said that the money saved would be used to fund free blue badge parking badges for disabled people. Responses to the consultation must be made before the end of February.

Ken Smith, chairman of the NUJ's Welsh executive council, said:

"We believe it is wholly wrong and potentially divisive to link these two issues. We support of the idea of helping disabled people in the way suggested, but there must be better ways of funding such a scheme. It is astonishing that this proposal is being made at a time when a formal inquiry is taking place at the National Assembly into the fragile state of the Welsh newspaper industry.
"If local authorities are no longer obliged to advertise traffic orders in newspapers and the revenue is lost, it will be a very serious blow. The NUJ has no doubt that if this is allowed to happen, jobs will be lost and the survival of titles put in doubt. Imperilling the future of Welsh newspapers will make it more difficult to achieve the kind of well-informed society we want in Wales.
"We urge Assembly Members from all parties to oppose this move."

Tags: , welsh executive council, traffic orders, advertising, newspapers, assembly wales, government wales