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Welsh Gov confirms plan for 20mph speed limit on residential roads to ‘save lives’

09 Jul 2021 3 minutes Read
Road with 20mph speed limit

The Welsh Government has confirmed a plan to reduce the national speed limit in Wales from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets.

According to Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, the move will play an instrumental role in helping to save lives, protect communities and improve quality of life for everyone.

If passed, Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce the change.

The Welsh Government has pointed to a statistic where risk of being killed is almost 5 times higher in collisions between a car and a pedestrian at 31mph compared to the same type of collisions at 18.6mph.

The first phase is being rolled out in eight communities across Wales this year in order to gather data and develop a best practice approach before the proposed full rollout in 2023.

As part of this approach the Welsh Government has today launched a consultation for people to have their say on the change before the necessary legislation is laid. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will come to an end on 30 September.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said: “Making 20mph the default speed limit on busy pedestrian streets and in residential areas across Wales is a bold step that brings about significant benefits.

“Not only does it save lives, but it also helps to make our streets a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing and with fewer vehicles on the road helps create a positive impact on the environment.

“We know this move won’t be easy – it’s as much about changing hearts and minds as it is about hard enforcement – but over time 20mph will become the norm, just like the restrictions we’ve introduced before on carrier bag change, smoking inside businesses and organ donation.”

‘First phase’ 

The village St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is one of the areas taking part in the first phase. Teachers and pupils from the local primary school have welcomed the move and have played an active part in the rollout.

Headteacher of St Brides Major Church in Wales Primary School, Duncan Mottram, said: “Both the school and local community are delighted to be playing such a prominent role in this exciting initiative. Reducing the speed limit on our roads will make them safer and also help to promote alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling.

“Pupils have been involved in this project from the start, taking part in a competition to design road signs that appear around the village, while a local residents’ group has also made their support clear from the outset.

“We are proud to be one of the pilot schemes for this new lower speed limit and we look forward to it being rolled out across the country.”

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Chris
Chris
15 days ago

The worst drivers ignore the 30mph limit. Now they’ll just ignore the 20mph limit instead. All the traffic management required to enforce this (chicanes, sleeping policemen, speed tables) will keep the road building industry busy but will make everybody’s journeys much more uncomfortable (like driving over potholes) At least that’s what I have observed anecdotally in the areas near me which have 20mph limits. Let’s see what comes of the community trials. I hope none are near me. I may try and pull together some money to invest in suspension repair companies. I’ve a feeling they are going to be… Read more »

Morris Dean
Morris Dean
15 days ago

This is a welcome and long overdue initiative. Where these zones exist in Cardiff there has been a demonstrable (by speed tracking evidence) reduction in average vehicle speeds

Bruce
Bruce
15 days ago

Just bring in speed cameras, if you are driving at more than the speed limit in 20 or 30 mph speed limit areas i.e. areas with lots of pedestrians then you deserve to get fined. Furthermore, if you think you’ve got the right to drive at more than the speed limit in 20 or 30 mph speed limit areas then this raises the question: should you really be allowed to drive at all? Are you responsible enough to drive? Whilst they are at it bring in cameras for pedestrian crossings as well. I walk to work and every time I… Read more »

Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  Bruce

I won’t vote you down. Voting people down is childish. But EITHER having chicanes, sleeping policemen, speed tables OR killing pedestrians is a false dichotomy. Those are not the only two options.
I like the speed cameras idea. Many motorists hate them – because they like to speed. I have no issue with them.
But punishing EVERYONE for the actions of the few, by putting in street furniture which will over time increase wear and tear on all our cars is in my opinion the wrong way to do it.

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
15 days ago

I think it would be better to educate and encourage pedestrians not to walk in front of vehicles when crossing roads,often without a care in the world.I see this daily when driving,as if they have right of way.Road safety campaigns from years ago used to be shown on TV.Maybe we need some new ones…Stop..look…listen !!

Chris
Chris
15 days ago
Reply to  Brian Coman

Both pedestrians and drives need to take ownership of this. It’s not one or the other. And we need to have more punitive measures for dangerous driving offences

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
15 days ago

My feelings are that a lot more research is necessary before introducing yet more unenforceable and unenforced law.
Will it produce more pollution, a crucial item for children’s health in residential areas? What are the economic consequences? Does traffic actually go faster than 20 mph today (it doesn’t in our cities)? What law exists that is currently unenforced to deal with this? Do police enforce reckless driving, due care and attention etc which would render this unnecessary? Why not?
More needs to be revealed.

Hywel
Hywel
15 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

“Will it produce more pollution, a crucial item for children’s health in residential areas?“

Less pollution surely? Unless cars are continuously breaking and accelerating to keep up with rapidly changing speed limits, an average of 20mph will reduce this? My neighbourhood already has a 20mph limit, people speeding stick out a lot – but they are minority here thankfully.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
15 days ago

This should be introduced in seaside resorts as soon as possible. It needs the backing of the local town council though unless things have changed…

Huw Davies
Huw Davies
13 days ago

We have several 20mph areas near my home. The problem is that they alternate with short stretches of 30mph limits. Then some clever clogs in the planning department has the limit as 20mph on the flat road at the top of a steep hill but the hill itself is 30mph, changing back to 20mph for the last 10 metres at the bottom of the hill. Then after 50 yards this changes to 30mph but with three lots of speed bumps that shouldn’t be driven over at more than 15mph as they are so big! It all feels like it was… Read more »

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