Default 20mph roads to be trialled in eight locations ahead of national rollout

Welsh Government hope the scheme will "save lives" and help streets become a safer place for cyclists and pedestrians. Credit: Welsh Government

Eight locations in Wales will trial default 20mph roads ahead of government plans for a national rollout in 2023.

The pilot will be phased in from this summer and will run until the end of the year.

The Welsh Government said the new speed limit will improve safety and help make Welsh streets a more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians.

The eight areas chosen to trial the scheme, which are mostly in south Wales, were selected as a "representative sample of different locations found across Wales, including villages, towns and cities."

The eight locations:

  • Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

  • Central North, Cardiff

  • Severnside, Monmouthshire

  • Buckley, Flintshire

  • Cilfriw Village, Neath and Port Talbot

  • St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

  • St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan

  • Llanelli North, Carmarthenshire

The Welsh Government said research indicates public support for the plans.

92% of those who wanted a change to the speed limit on their street suggested a speed limit of 20mph or lower, while 77% said they wanted to see this speed limit applied throughout the area in which they live.

Lee Waters, Deputy Minister for Economy and Transport, said the "bold move" will "save lives".

"We have made progress on reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads over the 21 years of devolution," he said.

"But despite our considerable efforts the highest proportion of all casualties - 50% - occurred on 30mph roads during 2018. This cannot be tolerated, so a reduction to 20mph on our residential and other busy pedestrian urban roads has to be the way forward.

"Decreasing speeds reduces accidents and saves lives, and alongside this the quality of life will improve, making room on our streets for safer active travel. This helps reduce our environmental impact and has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing.”

Welsh Government has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions across the country by 2050, although it hopes to "get there sooner."