20mph Becomes Default Speed Limit in Wales

Written by on 17th September 2023

The default speed limit on some roads in built-up areas in Wales has reduced from today from 30mph to 20mph.

And while 20 miles per hour limits are already common place in many English towns and cities, Wales has become the first UK country to change the default urban limit – and on-line versions of the Highway Code have already been updated, ahead of the change being reflected in the printed version from the next print run.

In making the change Welsh ministers believe the reduction will reduce deaths and noise, as well as encouraging more people to walk or cycle – arguing its £32.5m rollout cost will be “outweighed” by reduced impact on the NHS and emergency services, which one study estimating it could save as much as £92m a year.

But the move, despite being approved by the United Nations and environmental and road safety groups is not without its critics, led in recent months by the Welsh Conservatives who have incorrectly claimed it’s a ‘blanket policy’ which it’s not because local councils have the power to retain higher limits if they think it more appropriate for some roads – and the BBC is reporting the change will actually alter the speed limit on about 35% of Welsh roads where lamp-posts are no more than 200 yards (183m) apart.

In an extended chat this evening at 7pm on GTFM Pontypridd MS Mick Antoniw will explain further


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