28 June 2023
From 17 September 2023, the default 20mph speed limit will come into force on roads where people live, work and play in Powys, and across Wales. Some roads will remain at 30mph and Powys County Council will now be consulting with communities on which ones will keep their current speed limit.
The Welsh Government is changing the default speed limit to make streets safer by reducing the likelihood of collisions – and death or injury from them. The changes will happen mostly on roads where streetlights are placed no more than 200 yards apart, usually located in residential and built-up areas which people use frequently.
The new legislation does not mean all roads will change to 20mph, some will remain at 30mph and will be known as exceptions. Every council in Wales is considering which streets in their area should remain at 30mph. You can see which roads are affected at datamap.gov.wales/maps/roads-affected-by-changes-to-the-speed-limit-on-re/view#/
A Welsh public health study estimated that the 20mph default speed limit could result in:
- 40% fewer collisions
- saving 6 to 10 lives every year
- and avoiding 1200 to 2000 people being injured every year.
Evidence shows that people feel more comfortable to walk and cycle when vehicle speeds are slower, and it is safer for children to walk to school; and older people, disabled people or people with additional needs are also more able to travel independently.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives. Slower speeds also help create a safer and more welcoming community, giving people the confidence to walk and cycle more, improving their health and wellbeing whilst protecting the environment.”
“The Welsh Government have taken a bold move to implement the new 20mph default speed limit across the country,” explains Cllr Cllr Jackie Charlton, Cabinet Member for a Greener Powys, “but the benefits we can hope to see around slower driving speeds, improved safety and increased levels of cycling and walking, will go a long way to outweigh any reluctance for change.
“The new 20mph speed limit will also complement our increasing network of active travel routes across the county, where we encourage people to make short, local journeys on foot or bicycle, rather than the car. It is especially hoped that more Powys families will confidently choose to walk or cycle to and from school, knowing the roads will be safer.”
You can find out more information about 20mph on the Welsh Government website, or to see how this affects your local streets at DataMapWales: datamap.gov.wales/maps/roads-affected-by-changes-to-the-speed-limit-on-re/view#/