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We have reduced speed limits to 50mph to reduce nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution.

First published:
22 June 2018
Last updated:

What we are doing

We have brought in 50mph speed limits at 5 locations across Wales and are taking additional action to ensure that drivers comply with these limits.

Why we are doing it

We have a legal duty to comply with air quality standards to improve public health. Outdoor air pollution is recognised by the World Health Organisation as the largest environmental threat to health.

We understand that speed limits may be unpopular. However, through our investigations we know they are likely to be the quickest and most effective way to reduce NO2 levels.

It’s essential that drivers comply to the speed limit to reduce NO2 levels.

What we have done so far

Over the summer of 2019 we:

  • reduced speed limits to 50mph at 5 locations (variable in some areas)
  • added new signs to highlight the speed limits
  • added average speed cameras at 4 locations to monitor traffic speeds

This affected the following roads:

  • A494 between the Wales/England border and St David’s Interchange Deeside
  • A483 between junctions 5 and 6 Wrexham
  • M4 between junctions 41 and 42 Port Talbot
  • M4 between junctions 25 and 26 Newport
  • A470 between Upper Boat and Pontypridd

Next steps

With support from the police and GoSafe, in 2021 we will:

  • start to issue advisory notices to drivers who drive quicker than the 50mph speed limit
  • fine drivers who travel significantly quicker than the 50mph speed limits

Contact us

For more information, contact: Transport.AirQuality@gov.wales