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We are introducing a default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads across Wales.

First published:
8 July 2021
Last updated:

Restricted roads include street lights placed no more than 200 yards apart. They are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity.

Reducing the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph in these areas could see a number of benefits, including:

  • a reduction in road collisions
  • more opportunities to walk and cycle in our communities
  • helping to improve our health and wellbeing
  • making our streets safer
  • safeguarding the environment for future generations.

The Senedd passed The Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022 legislation earlier this year. This means speed limits on most restricted roads will reduce from 30mph to 20mph from September 2023.

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

These changes support:

Next steps

We are working with highway authorities, Trunk Road Agents (TRAs) and local authorities who are responsible for county roads.

We recognise not all roads currently at 30mph will be suitable to change to 20mph. These roads will be known as exceptions.

All highway authorities must follow the statutory process on traffic regulation Orders.

Background

The Welsh 20mph Task Force Group was formed in May 2019 on the direction of Lee Waters, the then Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport. Their report was published in July 2020: 20mph Task Force Group report

Eight communities were selected for the first phase of the 20mph national programme:

  • St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire
  • Llanelli North, Carmarthenshire
  • St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan
  • Central North, Cardiff
  • Cilfrew Village, Neath Port Talbot
  • Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
  • Severnside, Monmouthshire
  • Buckley, Flintshire

These 8 communities introduced 20mph speed limits from July 2021 to May 2022.