Welsh Government plans to reduce national default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph


Sant-y-brid (Image: Welsh Government)

The Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters has confirmed that the Welsh Government plans to reduce the national default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets.


If passed, Cymru will be the first country in the UK to introduce the change— which it says "will play an instrumental role in helping to save lives, protect our communities and improve quality of life for everyone".


The first phase of the change is being rolled out in eight communities across the country this year "in order to gather data and develop a best practice approach" before the proposed full rollout in 2023.


The Welsh Government has today launched a consultation for people to have their say on the change before the necessary legislation is laid. The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will come to an end on September 30.


Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters said: “Making 20mph the default speed limit on busy pedestrian streets and in residential areas across Wales is a bold step that brings about significant benefits.

“Not only does it save lives, but it also helps to make our streets a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing and with fewer vehicles on the road helps create a positive impact on the environment.

“We know this move won’t be easy – it’s as much about changing hearts and minds as it is about hard enforcement – but over time 20mph will become the norm, just like the restrictions we’ve introduced before on carrier bag change, smoking inside businesses and organ donation.”


Pilot areas and planned start dates:

  • Sir Benfro (Llandudoch) – Live

  • Sir Gâr (Gogledd Llanelli) – Mid July.

  • Bro Morgannwg (Sant-y-brid) – Live

  • Caerdydd (Gogledd Orllewin Caerdydd) – September.

  • Castell-nedd/Port Talbot (Cilfrew) – September.

  • Sir Fynwy (Y Fenni & Severnside) – Jan/Feb 2022.

  • Sir y Fflint (Bwcle) – TBC

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