On 17 September 2023, most 30mph speed limits in Wales changed to 20mph.

The speed limit changed on residential and busy pedestrian streets to:

  • make our streets safer, reducing the number of people killed or injured (as well as reducing the impact on the NHS)
  • encourage more people to walk and cycle
  • help to improve our health and well-being
  • safeguard the environment for future generations

Making streets safer

Reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.

When a pedestrian is hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph they are around five times more likely to be killed than when hit by a vehicle travelling at 20mph.

A public health study estimates that the 20mph default speed limit could result in:

  • 40% fewer collisions
  • saving 6 to 10 lives every year
  • avoiding between 1200 and 2000 people being injured every year

This would save around £92million in prevention during the first year alone.

Encouraging walking and cycling

Lower traffic speeds will encourage more walking and cycling.

In a public opinion survey, 62% of people agreed they ‘wished everyone would slow down a bit on the roads’ and 55% agreed that ‘streets would be a lot nicer for pedestrians with a 20mph speed limit’.

Vehicle speeds are one of the main reasons why people do not walk or cycle or allow their children to walk or cycle to school.

Supporting 20

You can help create safer streets and healthier communities by driving at 20mph or below on residential and busy streets.

GoSafe and the police will enforce the 20mph restrictions, like any other speed limit, to make our roads safer for all users. They will also be helping to engage and educate motorists.

See street lights? Think 20

From 17 September, when you see streetlights, you should assume that the speed limit is 20mph, unless signed otherwise.

These streets will generally be residential or busy pedestrian streets.

Not all streets changed to 20mph. The streets which have stayed at a 30mph speed limit will have 30mph signs to tell you this.

This is a Welsh Government national change that all local authorities in Wales must comply with.

These changes apply across Wales and more information can be found on the Welsh Government 20mph pages (external link), which includes a list of frequently asked questions.