New data shows 20mph speed limit boosts road safety across Wales

Posted: 22 February 2024 | | No comments yet

Preliminary data from Transport for Wales reveals that the implementation of a 20mph speed limit has effectively reduced main road speeds by 4mph, marking a significant advancement in road safety initiatives.

New data shows 20mph speed limit boosts road safety across Wales

Credit: Transport for Wales

Transport for Wales (TfW) has released preliminary data indicating a notable reduction in average speeds on main roads following the nationwide implementation of a default 20mph speed limit.

The data, compiled from nine different communities across Wales, showcases a substantial decrease in average speeds by 4mph, reducing from 28.9mph to 24.8mph since the enforcement of the new speed limit.

According to TfW, the correlation between lower speeds and diminished collision rates is unmistakable, as urban roads with lower average speeds had experienced a 6% reduction in collisions per 1mph decrease in speed.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, emphasised the positive trend, stating, “We’ve still got a way to go, but it’s encouraging to see that things are moving in the right direction. Every 1mph reduction in speed makes a real difference – so this is a real turning point. The international evidence is clear, lower speeds saves lives – that’s fewer collisions, fewer deaths and fewer severe injuries, reducing the devastation to individuals and their families and the significant impact on the NHS and other emergency services.”

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Chief Executive of the road safety charity, Brake, Ross Moorlock said: “It’s encouraging to see how the new 20mph speed limit has reduced the overall speeds of these roads. Every day, five people die on UK roads and speed is a factor in every crash. The faster we drive, the greater our risk of crashing, and the harder we hit if we do crash.”

Alongside publication of the national data, the initial report by the independent Review Team, which is looking into the setting of exceptions to the default 20mph limit, has also been published. The report sets out a series of early findings and initial recommendations.

Speaking about the work of the independent review team, Leader of the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), Andrew Morgan, said: “Council leaders welcome the review of the implementation and the current guidance to help them make the right choices for their communities. Councils want to engage with the review to ensure we have the right speeds on the right streets.”