Wales to lower speed limit to 20mph on residential roads

Cars on a road in Snowdonia, Wales.

Did you know that speed limits are changing in parts of the UK?

In Wales, the speed limit is set to drop to 20mph on all residential roads from next year. Here’s everything you need to know.

Saving lives with slow speed

At the moment, just 2.5% of Welsh roads have a speed limit of 20mph. This is set to increase to 35% next year as the Welsh Labour government focuses on reducing accidents and encouraging people to ride bikes and public transport.

Over 1,100 people were killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents in 2018, with 50% of all collisions occurring on roads with a 30mph speed limit.

According to research, drivers are 40% less likely to kill a pedestrian if they collide at 20mph compared with a collision at 30mph.

In a survey carried out by the Welsh Government last year, 80% of people supported plans for a lower speed limit, with most backing coming from households with children.

Arguments from the opposition

But not everyone agrees with plans to reduce the speeding limit.

Shadow transport minister Natasha Ashgar said: “The Welsh Conservatives are not against introducing 20mph speed limits outside schools, playgrounds, places of worship and high streets, but a blanket roll-out is quite frankly ludicrous.

“With a price tag of more than £32 million, is this really money well spent at a time when the Labour Government should be focused on tackling the big issues at hand such as the cost-of-living?

“I don’t think it is, and I am sure residents across the country will be thinking the exact same.”

Adie Drury from Flintshire, North-East Wales, has started a petition against the restrictions by arguing that the speed limit could be too slow in some cases.

“The community has no problem with a 20mph limit where it’s necessary and where it’s safe, like outside schools, health centres in housing estates and in heavily pedestrianised areas.

“But cyclists are now doing more than 20mph on their bikes and we can’t in a car – so I’ve had quite a lot of reports of people being overtaken by cycles.”

The price of speeding

The minimum penalty for speeding in the UK is a £100 fine and 3 penalty points added to your licence, unless you’re given the option to attend a speed awareness course.

Drivers who rack up 12 points or more in a three-year period could be banned from the road.

Discover how many drivers think it’s acceptable to speed on the roads.

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