The Welsh government is setting up trials of a default 20mph speed limit.

It will take place in eight pilot areas on Welsh roads, and will get underway this summer.

These trials  come ahead of the planned national rollout for April 2023. The authorities hope they will aid the development of enforcement arrangements and overcome any unforeseen issues before the full rollout.

The trial areas will be selected in order to represent the many village, town and city environments across the country.

Working together

Focusing on community engagement, there is a focus on communicating the benefits of the lower limit. Reduced speeds lead to safer and more cohesive communities. Research has previously shown that the number and severity of road traffic accidents should drop, along with roadside pollution levels too. However, enforcement will be key, hence the change of the law to make 20mph the default limit.

This has led the Welsh Government to state that the new speed limit will improve safety and help make Welsh streets a more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians.

Vulnerability on urban streets

“Making 20mph the default speed limit in residential areas is a bold step that will save lives”, say Lee Waters, deputy minister for economy and transport.

In general, good progress has been achieved over the last couple of decades in regards to road safety in Wales. However, more than 50% of casualties still occur on roads with a 30mph limit.

“This cannot be tolerated. A reduction to 20mph on our residential and other busy pedestrian urban roads has to be the way forward.

“Decreasing speeds reduces accidents and saves lives. Alongside this the quality of life will improve, making room on our streets for safer active travel. This helps reduce our environmental impact and has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing.”