Speed limit changes in Wales

Greg Davies 2022

Greg Davies
Director of Market Development, Assurity Consulting
20th September 2023

As part of the launch information the Welsh Government has said,

“The evidence from around the world is very clear – decreasing speeds will reduce collisions, save lives, and reduce injuries – helping to improve quality of life and make our streets and local communities safer for all.”

It is estimated that a default 20mph speed limit could benefit safety by reducing collisions by 40%, reducing injuries to between 1,200 and 2,000 people, and saving up to 10 lives per annum. Further benefits the reduction brings could include:

  • Making streets safer for playing, walking, and cycling;
  • Encourage more people to walk, wheel, or cycle;
  • Making our communities safer;
  • Improving health and wellbeing; and
  • Reducing noise pollution.

As the new 20mph limit is a national position in Wales, there will be no road signs and repeater signs. The online Highway Code has been amended to read as follows and the driving theory and practical tests have also been amended by the DVSA.

“The following speed limits apply to all single and dual carriageways with streetlights unless there are signs showing otherwise:

  • 30 miles per hour (48km/h) in England, Scotland, or Northern Ireland
  • 20 miles per hour (32km/h) in Wales”