Wales to implement 20mph speed limit from 17th September 2023

Wales to implement 20mph speed limit from 17th September 2023

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From the 17th September 2023, the Welsh Government are introducing a default speed limit of 20mph, down from 30mph, in residential and built-areas where there are typically lots of people. These areas can be identified by the street lights positioning and the distance between them, placed no more than 200 yards apart from each other.

It is important to acknowledge that you should always refer to the speed limit signs to confirm the speed limit, but by default (better safe than sorry) it'd be best to not encroach 20mph if you are unsure of the speed limit.

Why are the Welsh Government lowering their speed limit to 20mph?

The Welsh Government are aiming to improve the lifestyle of Welsh citizens in a very positive and healthy way, and by reducing the speed limit to 20mph we can expect:

  • a reduction in the number of collisions and severe injuries from them (also reducing the impact on the NHS from treating the people who are injured)
  • encouragement for more people to walk and cycle in our communities
  • improvements in our health and well-being
  • safer streets
  • a safeguarded environment for future generations.

With this change to the speed limit, Wales will be one of the first countries in the world, and the first nation in the UK, to introduce legislation to have a default 20mph speed limit on roads where cars mix with pedestrians and cyclists.

What are the benefits of changing the default speed limit to 20mph?

Reducing speed limits results directly in a reduction of collisions and saves endless amounts of lives. Public Health Wales believe that lowering the default speed limit to 20mph could also have substantial health benefits in regard to reduced emissions. 20mph will reduce the risk of collisions, help people feel safer and benefit people’s physical and mental well-being. A recent public health study estimated that the 20mph default speed limit could result in:

  • 40% fewer collisions
  • saving 6 to 10 lives every year;
  • avoiding 1200 to 2000 people being injured every year.

Will this affect all Welsh roads that are currently 30mph?

These changes will affect most 30mph roads but not all.

The legislation that passed changes the default speed limited on restricted roads, which are generally residential or busy pedestrian streets - with streetlights - but not all 30mph roads are restricted roads, and these will remain at 30mph, and will be clearly signed as being 30mph.

For restricted roads, local authorities and the 2 Trunk Road Agencies, can also make exceptions to the default speed limit in consultation with their communities.

The Welsh Government have published a map on DataMapWales that shows which roads would stay at 30mph.

Will my Road Angel Pure Speed Awareness device be updated to reflect these speed limit changes?

Of course! As part of our subscription (any level of our subscription packages), you will receive the latest and most up to data speed limits for each and every road across the UK.

This will include the reduction from 30mph to 20mph that the Welsh Government will be introducing on the 17th September 2023.

All information on this article was provided by the Welsh Government.