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1 in 6 could face prosecution for speeding on new 20mph roads in Wales

22 Jan 2024 3 minute read
Photo by Ian Britton is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Emily Price

1 in 6 drivers could face prosecution for speeding on Wales’ new 20mph default limit roads, according to a report from a leading transport firm.

In a brand-new follow-up report, data and consultancy firm Agilysis, has unveiled the aftermath of the reduction of speed limits from 30mph to 20mph on roads throughout the country.

The controversial change was rolled out September last year and sparked an ongoing nationwide debate on road safety, compliance and the potential long-term benefits.

The new default speed limit has been met with opposition by some road users and a petition calling for it to be reversed has reached over 468,000 signatures – the most in Senedd history.

The Welsh Government has said that cutting the limit to 20mph will protect lives and save the NHS in Wales £92m a year.

The initial report by Agilysis, published on September 25th, 2023, analysed speeds on nearly 500km of roads in ten Welsh towns and cities, revealing a startling 2.9mph drop in average speeds in just a few days after the new limits were introduced.

The study utilised data from TomTom, collected from hundreds of thousands of journeys immediately after the default speed limit was shifted.

This latest report focuses on the three-month period post-change, covering the same roads as the initial study, employing a new methodology to estimate speed compliance and discuss potential enforcement scenarios.

Agilysis examined over 7,900 road sections, to reveal the following key findings:

  • Analysis shows a slight bounce back in speeds compared to the one-week post-change period, however overall average speeds are down by 2.4mph compared to pre-change levels.
  • There are slight variations across the ten towns and cities included in the analysis, with Bangor experiencing the most significant reduction in average speeds (-3.2mph) and Merthyr Tydfil displaying the smallest change (-1.3mph).
  • Just over half (52.9%) of all analysed journeys were driven above the 20mph speed limit.
  • 17.9% of all analysed journeys were driven above the enforcement threshold of 26mph, and 5.4% of journeys were driven at speeds above the threshold for a court summons.

Fines

Agilysis concludes that while there has been a small increase in speeds since the initial survey, compliance with the new 20mph limits is generally good and shows a general acceptance of the new limit among drivers.

Speed enforcements measures of the new default limit officially began in January and drivers breaking Wales’ 20mph law could face fines and points on their licence.

The Welsh Government has said that initially drivers breaking the limit will be offered roadside engagement sessions with the fire and rescue services as an alternative to prosecution.

The enforcement – know as Operation Ugain – will see roadside teams using speed monitoring equipment to catch offending motorists.

People who are pulled over doing more than 20mph in a built-up area could face a minimum fine of £100 and three penalty points – or an engagement session.


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Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago

It is quite simple providing the council have signed correctly. The sign says 20, by a remarkable coincidence there is a dial or indicator in the car that will show that speed. Stick to it and no ticket.
Simples.

Barry Pandy
Barry Pandy
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

Indeed, I often let speeding motorists know a very simple but highly effective trick to avoid paying speed camera fines – don’t exceed the speed limit.

Frank
Frank
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

Yes, and while everyone is watching their speedometers they are not watching the car, the road in front or for pedestrians.

Padi Phillips
Padi Phillips
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Anyone who is a competent driver is always aware of their speed without the need to be totally focused on the speedometer. After a very short period drivers become acclimatised to speed limits, so have a very good idea how fast they are travelling, thus lessening the need to look at the speedometer, which only warrants a glance every few seconds, and then only when it’s safe to do so. Perhaps those who feel their driving skills aren’t up to driving with such awareness shouldn’t be on the road at all?

Last edited 1 month ago by Padi Phillips
Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

How do you manage at 30?
How do you manage at 40?
How do you manage at 50?
How do you manage at 60?
Hope do you manage at 70?
If the answer is the same as your premise, hand your licence in.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

How did they cope keeping to 30 then. If you can’t do the basics, don’t drive.Its drummed into you when learning, to be speed aware as much as aware of anything.

O Davey
O Davey
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

So how do you manage in a 30, 40 or 50mph limit when your inattention means you have travelled much further?

Mr. Williams
Mr. Williams
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

Do you realise what you have written?.
Then, if that’s the case, they shouldn’t be driving at all if they are unable to keep their eyes on the road and keep to any speed limit.
In fact, if, as you say, everyone is watching their speedometer instead of the road etc. then nobody will ever pass their driving test in the first place if they are not watching the road.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

Sadly RCT took ours away for some reaosn. Now the fools in tin cans are speeding again.

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago

An ill thought out, poorly executed policy? Or a cash cow with the added benefit of taking driver’s off the road?

This is the beginning of the end for freedom of movement in Wales, they say they want us all on public transit but it’s virtually non-existent outside of Cardiff.
15 minute city’s/zones are next, it’s time we woke up.
Labour is no longer in our interests.

Llyn
Llyn
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

Wow how many conspiracy theories can you get in 3 sentences!

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago
Reply to  Llyn

Removing privately owned transportation is in their manifesto, mabey read some of them before blindly voting the same way as your Nan. 15 minute city’s are already in discussion in labour held seats in England. Not sure what conspiracy you’re referring to exactly? Notice that Welsh labour never put a penny into Port Talbot steel, and Drakford only tried to call Rishi after the layoffs where announced? Or that they actively choose not to allow the last Welsh coal mine to continue operating? Who exactly is benefiting from the current Senedd government? Thatcher’s dead and buried, it’s time to vote… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

ding ding ding ding
15 minute zones. Used the word “woke”Winner winner chicken dinner.

But you missed missed in this round 7 bins and meat taxes which would have got you a cuddly toy.

cablestreet
cablestreet
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

Ah yes, 15 min city zones, another conspiracy theory for the far right and anti vax brigade and other gullibles.

No to 20mph
No to 20mph
1 month ago
Reply to  cablestreet

Haha, couldn’t have got me more wrong if you tried. Wore my mask, received 3 covid vaccines. Personally planted over 3000 trees last year because I’m passionate about climate change. Adamantly anti Tory and have friends from all backgrounds. BUT, I’m a right wing conspiracy theorist because I think critically and dare to question our “glorious and infallible” governments motivations. You try to paint me in a certain light because, not only do you disagree with me but lack the ability to make a constructive counter argument. Do you actually believe it’ll save 5-10 lives a year? And even if… Read more »

Ap Kenneth
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

Cash Cow? When fines go to the UK Government. Although agree that the added benefit is taking incompetent and dangerous drivers off the road.

Huw Jones
Huw Jones
1 month ago
Reply to  No to 20mph

Farty Davies, is that you?

Simon Hughes
Simon Hughes
1 month ago

And all the yes men/women are angelic never ever having broken the speed limit? Please these speed analysis are carried out on straight sections of road excluding every other kind of road as these interfere with the TomTom and appear to miss the roads I drive on daily. We have already witnesses the removal of bus routes due to the lowering of the speed limit? This law is bad law and has a very short shelf life. I have not witnessed in any time children or adults being in anyway in danger from traffic. The only thing I have noticed… Read more »

Nix
Nix
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Hughes

This is pretty true. My friend lives in a town where s local bus route has been eliminated. That route used to take students from that town to the only local college. That route just doesn’t exist anymore and there’s no replacement. So, if you want to go to college and further your education in that town, you HAVE to drive now. It’s actually disgusting. If my friend was 10 years younger, she wouldn’t have been able to go to college unless she drove now. For another friend, another bus route was axed due to the limit. She was stranded… Read more »

Jeff
Jeff
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Hughes

One bus company was bought out by a US private equity firm and we all know they run services for the people not the investors they make millions for. Until I see their workings out I will go with restructuring opportunity to blame something else and upping profits.

Ap Kenneth
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeff

Unite union says Arriva has in the last 10 years paid a total of £560 million in dividends from Arriva’s UK bus division to the parent company Deutsche Bahn.

Geoff Ryan
Geoff Ryan
1 month ago
Reply to  Simon Hughes

A few weeks ago I was travelling along my home street when a child stepped out in front of me. Because I was driving at 20 mph I was able to stop in time. If I had been doing 30 mph I would have hit him, possibly killed him, causing pain and grief to his mother who was walking just behind him but too far behind to stop him stepping into the road. Of course such incidents don’t occur very often (fortunately) but they do occur. I would much prefer to take a little longer to complete a journey than… Read more »

Angie
Angie
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoff Ryan

Oh the mother was too far away to stop him stepping into the road. What about old fashioned reins/green cross code or just plain holding his hand? Why do they think they can let their kids run all over the place and then blame the motorist?

FJholloway
FJholloway
1 month ago

I am a driver and the impact has been devastating. Whilst driving through the heads of the valleys today there was no less than 5 speed changes all enforced by cameras.

Clearly trying to catch you out. What people don’t realise is there goods such as fresh produce and products all depend on time. The longer they are stuck in tailbacks the less there is on the shelves.

Leo
Leo
1 month ago

I very sadly attended a funeral last week for someone who died in a hit and run on a 20mph road – the driver was over the limit. This is the whole point of having safer speeds, they prevent needless deaths. Fines for breaking the limit are no price at all to pay by comparison.

Jay Smith
Jay Smith
1 month ago

I live in Barmouth, a 20mph zone. From what I see on a daily basis this new directive is 1 : being blatantly ignored by 75% of the population. 2: not being enforced/monitored anyway.
£30 million + worth of windy rhetoric !!!
Why is slowing down in areas of high footfall such an issue ? The extra 2 minutes it takes to pass through these areas can be made up when you get back onto the open road on the other side .
Not rocket science people 🤷

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