Campaigners urge Senedd to back legislation reducing speed limits in Wales
Wales’ leading active travel organisations are calling on Members of the Senedd to vote in favour of legislation to reduce speed limits next week.
Living Streets Cymru, Sustrans Cymru and Cycling UK are all backing proposals to make Wales the first nation in the world to adopt a 20mph default speed limit on residential streets.
The Senedd will debate the introduction of 20mph default speed limits on restricted roads in Wales next Tuesday.
If the legislation is passed, many roads which currently operate as 30mph zones will reduce the speed limit to 20mph.
Over the past year, Welsh Government has piloted a scheme in eight areas across Wales, where 20mph speed limits have been introduced on some residential roads.
Research shows pedestrians are 40 per cent less likely to die when hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared with one travelling at 30mph.
If someone is struck by a vehicle at 20mph their chance of survival is up to 97 per cent.
This decreases with every mile driven faster. There is also evidence that casualties are reduced when 20mph limits are introduced and that 20mph limits lead to more walking and cycling and lower noise levels.
Researchers at Public Health Wales estimate that if all current 30mph limit roads in Wales became 20mph roads, between 1200–2000 casualties would avoided each year.
In November 2020, a Welsh Government national survey found that 80 per cent of participants supported the plans, in particular parents or those with children in the household.
Stephen Edwards, Chief Executive, Living Streets, said: “This would be life-changing legislation because slower speeds will improve the places where we live, work and go to school.
“When the speed limit is reduced from 30mph to 20mph there is typically an average decline in casualties of at least 20%.
“There are also benefits in terms of reduced noise and safer and more cohesive communities that are more pleasant to live in. People are also likely to be encouraged to walk or cycle more, which is good for their health and pollution levels.
“It’s simple: slower speeds save lives – and I urge Members of the Senedd to support the 20mph in the vote.”
Christine Boston, Director, Sustrans Cymru, added: “We believe that everyone in Wales should have access to safe streets.
“Making 20mph default limits in our communities will help to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles whilst creating opportunities for social interaction, creating happier and healthier places.
“We want communities that are built for safety rather than speed.”
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