Wales has become the first UK nation to adopt a 20mph default speed limit on restricted roads where vehicles mix with pedestrians and cyclists.
The national change came into force on 17 September 2023. It means that drivers will have to reduce their speed on most residential and busy pedestrian streets across Wales that were previously designated 30mph.
The change will make communities safer for children and adults to live and enjoy activities such as playing, walking and cycling. Evidence shows that lowering the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph will reduce collisions and the severity of injuries.
Play Wales says:
‘Play Wales is celebrating the Welsh Government’s introduction of the 20mph default speed limit for residential areas across Wales. From the first time we asked children and teenagers what stops them from playing in their neighbourhood, traffic has been at the top of their list. Similarly, parents have shared these views about the speed and volume of cars in their local neighbourhoods. Parents report that their children don’t go out to play as often as they wish because of fears of traffic.
We have long advocated that adoption of a 20mph speed limit in all residential areas could have a wide-reaching and positive effect on supporting more children to play out in their neighbourhood more often. The new speed limit is a welcome recognition of the benefit of redressing the balance between drivers and pedestrians in our communities.’
20’s Plenty For Us campaign
The 20’s Plenty For Us partnership of organisations who support the new 20mph speed limit – including Play Wales – has issued a joint letter praising the new law. The letter highlights the number of children and adults in Wales who will benefit from safer streets thanks to the change.