Support our Nation today - please donate here

Introduction of 20mph default speed limit across Wales could save £100 million

07 Nov 2022 3 minute read
20mph sign. Picture by Carmarthenshire County Council

New research shows plans to introduce a default 20mph speed limit across Wales could save £100 million over the first year after its launch.

The Welsh Government will introduce the default limit on restricted roads across Wales in September 2023.

Restricted roads include those with street-lights and are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity.

The research, conducted by the Transport Research Institute (TRI) at Edinburgh Napier University, in conjunction with Public Health Wales is being published today alongside new survey results showing continued public support for the national roll out of the lower 20mph speed limit next year – a UK first.

The estimated cost saving is the direct result of fewer deaths and injuries, with estimates suggesting it will save more than 100 lives and 14,000 casualties over a decade.

Public attitude

The new independent public attitude survey, conducted by Beaufort Research on behalf of the Welsh Government, shows the majority of respondents support a new lower speed limit.

Almost two-thirds of people surveyed said they would support a 20mph speed limit where they lived and 62% said they wanted everyone to slow down on the roads.

When asked about safety, 64% of people said that 20mph speed limits “makes it safer for pedestrians”; 57% agreed that 20mph means “fewer serious collisions on the roads” and almost half (47%) thought 20mph would make it safer for cyclists.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said: “The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.

“Slower speeds also create a safer and more welcoming environment, giving people the confidence to walk and cycle more, which will help to improve our health and wellbeing and help to improve the environment.

“This new research shows the savings in terms of reductions in people being hurt or killed but the benefits of 20mph stretch much further than casualty savings alone. The report suggests the lower speed limit will help encourage physical activity and in turn reduce obesity, stress and anxiety.

“As with any change we know it will take time for people to adapt. But I’m pleased to see the early indications show a majority of people are in favour of 20mph, and I am confident that if we all work together, we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future.”

The Welsh Conservatives have described plans to introduce the 20 mile per hour speed limit as “frankly ludicrous”.

Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Ashgar MS, said. “It’s extraordinary that that the Labour Government has admitted this will have a negative cost of £4.54bn to the Welsh economy – is this appropriate at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living?

“I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.”

Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 year ago

Of course the Tories only think about money – lives matter little. As much as traveling at 20mph is a pain, it is necessary and the time added to a journey is minimal.

Dai Rob
Dai Rob
1 year ago

20mph saves lives. Simples.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
1 year ago

Restricted roads already have a blanket 30mph limit applied. A trunk road or classified road, A or B roads etc, is not a restricted road so this will apply to less miles of roads in Wales than are already 20mph limited in London.

1 year ago

We will have flag men next seriously, a 20 mph limit will cause more problems than it will fix,
Absolutely sick and tired of stupid idiots in government, only place a 20 mph limit should be is In pedestrian areas and outside schools, 30 is fine for residential areas

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.