Safer at 20mph: Let’s look out for each other
From 17 September 2023, most 30mph speed limits in Wales, are changing to 20mph.
This will make Wales one of the world’s first countries to have a default 20mph limit where people live, to keep our communities safer and improve quality of life.
The speed limit is changing on residential and busy pedestrian streets to:
- make our streets safer, reducing the number of people killed or injured (as well as reducing the impact on the NHS)
- encourage more people to walk and cycle
- help to improve our health and well-being
- safeguard the environment for future generations
Get ready for 20
The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.
When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph they are around five times more likely to be killed than when hit by a vehicle travelling at 20mph.
Making streets safer
A recent public health study estimated that the 20mph default speed limit could result in:
- 40% fewer collisions
- saving 6 to10 lives every year
- avoiding between 1200 and 2000 people being injured every year
This would save around £92m in prevention during the first year alone.
Encouraging walking and cycling
Most people in Wales support a lower speed limit where they live.
In a public opinion survey, 62% of people agreed they ‘wished everyone would slow down a bit on the roads’ and 55% agreed that ‘streets would be a lot nicer for pedestrians with a 20mph speed limit’.
Vehicle speeds are one of the main reasons why people do not walk or cycle or allow their children to walk or cycle to school.
Lower traffic speeds will encourage more walking and cycling.
You can help create safer streets and healthier communities by driving at 20mph or below, on residential and busy streets.
GoSafe and the Police will continue to enforce 20mph, like any other speed limit, to make our roads safer for all users. They will also be helping to engage and educate motorists.
See street lights? Think 20
From 17 September, when you see streetlights, you should assume that the speed limit is 20mph, unless signed otherwise.
These streets will generally be residential or busy pedestrian streets.
Not all streets will change to 20mph.
Your local council will consider which streets should remain at 30mph and where they do, there will be 30mph signs to tell you this.
You can find out more about exceptions to the new speed limit on GOV.WALES or your local council website.
Find out more
Find more information about the change to 20mph, including answers to some frequently asked questions.