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20mph Speed Limit Law Change

From the 17th September 2023 the speed limit on all restricted roads will be reduced from 30mph to 20mph. 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.

Why are these changes being made?

  • Reduce the number of collisions and severe injuries
  • Make our streets safer
  • Encourage more people to walk and cycle in the community
  • Help improve health and wellbeing
  • Safeguard the environment for future generations.

What is a restricted road?

Restricted roads are usually located in residential and built-up areas where there are lots of people. They often have street lights on them, placed no more than 200 yards apart.

Not all roads that have a current 30mph limit will be suitable to change to 20mph. These roads will be known as exceptions. Local Authorities will consider with their communities which roads should remain at 30mph and there will be 30mph signs to tell you this. 

Will a reduced speed limit improve safety?

The World Health Organisation states that the most effective way to improve pedestrian safety is to reduce the speed of vehicles.

In the distance a 20mph car can stop, a 30mph car will still be doing 24mph.

From the international evidence base, it can be concluded, on average, a person is around five times more likely to be killed when hit by a vehicle travelling at around 30mph than they are from a vehicle travelling around 20mph.

How will it be policed?

The Welsh government has said it has been working closely with the police to develop an enforcement strategy.

Currently, the minimum penalty for speeding is £100 fine and three points added to your licence.

Receiving 12 or more points within three years may disqualify you from driving.

If you are caught by a speed camera, depending on the speed, you will be sent an option for a speed awareness course, a fixed penalty notice or a letter telling you to go to court.

If you are stopped by the police they can give you a verbal warning, send you a fixed penalty notice, offer a speed awareness course or order you to go to court.