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20mph Speed Limit on Restricted Roads Across Wales

Introduction of a Default 20mph Speed Limit on Restricted Roads Across Wales

The Wales default 20mph speed limit takes effect in September 2023 on select residential roads and busy pedestrian streets. This directive comes from a global road safety study showing reduced collisions and fatalities attributed to speed limits. In numbers, 20mph speed limits result in a 40% reduction in motor collisions, save at least 6 lives and avoid injuries by up to 2000 people per year.


Speed Limit Background

Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, constituted the Welsh 20mph Task Force in 2019. He directed the team to look into ways of improving road safety. The task force tried the 20mph speed limit concept in 8 localities in Wales between July 2021 and May 2022. It was a speed reduction by 10mph, resulting in significant improvement in road safety.

The Senedd adopted the findings and passed the 20mph Task Force Group report, making Wales the first country in the UK to pass it. Effectively, motor speed within designated areas was reduced from 30mph to 20mph. The directive takes effect on 17th September 2023. Before its ratification, localities and the designated roads will undergo modification in preparation.


Bigger Plans Within the Transport Sector

The Welsh 20mph speed limit is part of the government’s long-term commitment to curb road carnage. It is also part of the world’s program to make our roads safe for everyone. In detail, the following are the 3 main reasons for this law:
  • The current Welsh government has an ambitious program for the next 5 years. They want to improve citizen's life and tackle perennial challenges. Transport is an important segment of this program, starting with reducing road injuries and fatalities.
  • Llwybr Newydd came up with a transport strategy that encourages cycling. It rids roads of pollution and is healthy for the human body. The restricted roads 20mph speed limit in Wales are safe for cycling.
  • The 2040 Future Wales National Plan advocates for safe travel with low environmental impact. Welsh citizens will live in places where the mode of travel does not harm the environment, as witnessed in the recent climate change

Since the directive affects most roads in the country, there are several ways to implement it. First, a collaboration with the Trunk Road Agents, highway authorities and local authorities will boost its implementation. Each group will have its jurisdiction to ensure the directive is enforced.

Some roads with 30mph will retain the speed limit, although they must adhere to the traffic regulation orders. They are part of the Welsh 20mph speed limit directive exceptions. To know the roads with these exceptions, contact the Highway Authority.

Welsh Roads Affected by the Changes to the Speed Limit

The directive does not affect all roads in Wales. Others will keep the 30mph speed limit after consulting with the communities. However, the government has prescribed routes that should maintain the 30mph speed limit or reduce it after consulting with the community.

Most of the roads within residential and high-traffic areas fall in the 20mph speed limit category. All high pedestrian areas in Wales also fall in this bracket. The government intends to use this directive as it has some benefits, among them:

  • Significant reduction of road collisions.
  • Controlled speed makes our streets safer, especially for children.
  • Low speeds reduce pollution, which safeguards the environment for successive generations.

To view more comprehensive coverage of The Restricted Roads 20 mph Speed Limit Wales Order 2022. It shows the 20mph default speed limit exceptions, guidelines to the order and progressive implementation of the directive.



As a new directive in some areas, a lot will go on as the country approaches full implementation. Public participation and civic education will be the avenues to seek clarifications and approvals. However, if anyone needs a further understanding of the concept, the government has listed some frequently asked questions for clarification.

Getting the Best Van for the Season

Businesses that operate within the 20mph default speed limit map need a reliable van for pick-ups and deliveries. It should be powerful enough and be able to work optimally at low speeds. Due to their design and assignment, vans are capable of operating regularly without exceeding the 20mph speed limit.  It's possible to get really good new van deals for as low as £17,695 with Citroen and Ford currently offering the best deals on van sales. See the latest discounts and get a van that has cruise control with adjustable speed limiter to make driving easier while observing the restricted roads 20mph speed limit in Wales.


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