Four in five support 20mph Welsh roads as Cardiff rolls out largest pilot

A 20mph sign
Cardiff North is the largest pilot yet ahead of all Welsh residential street introducing the new limit in 2023

The largest 20mph residential street pilot has been rolled out in Cardiff ahead of all residential roads and pedestrian streets being reduced to the new speed limit in 2023.

Cardiff North is the latest pilot to be launched across the country, as a part of wider consultation work to understand public feedback on the change. 

It joins St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire, Llanelli North in Carmarthenshire, St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan and Buckley in Flintshire as live pilots, with Cilfrew village in Neath Port Talbot and Abergavenny and Severnside due to come online later this month.

The move from 30mph to 20mph is intended to make Welsh streets safer, reducing pedestrian deaths, and improving air quality in residential areas.

Launching the latest pilot, Wales’ deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters said: “The evidence is clear, decreasing speeds not only reduces accidents and saves lives, but helps improve people’s quality of life - making our streets and communities a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst helping reduce our environmental impact.

“As with any cultural change we know it takes time to win hearts and minds and inevitably we will face some challenge, but I am confident that if we all work together we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future.”

Alongside the launch of the latest pilot, the Welsh Government has also published the results of its Public Attitude Survey.

The Welsh Government's Public Attitude Survey at a glance:

  • Most Welsh adults (61%) were content with the current speed limit for their street,while around a third (34%) were not.

  • Four in five Welsh adults (80%) said they would support a speed limit of 20 mph in the area they live, compared to one in five (20%) who would not.

  • Almost seven in ten Welsh adults (68%) were very or fairly concerned about cars or other vehicles driving too fast generally (rising to 73% of those with children aged under 16 in their household)

  • Over six in ten (64%) were very / fairly concerned about cars or other vehicles driving too fast near schools (rising to 72% of those with children in their household)

Whitchurch is one of the areas in Cardiff taking part in the latest pilot.

Ann Griffin, headteacher at Whitchurch Primary School, said: “We are delighted to be playing such a prominent role in this exciting and very important initiative.

“Reducing the speed limit on our roads will not only make them safer but also help to promote alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling.

“Active travel is a key part of the curriculum at our school and our children play an active role in encouraging others to make more sustainable and active travel choices.”

The Welsh Government's minister for climate change Lee Waters launched the latest pilot at Whitchurch Primary School

Active travel charity Sustrans Cymru have also welcomed the Welsh Government’s commitment to the reduction in the residential speed limit.

Christine Boston, Sustrans Cymru Director, said: “We believe that everyone in Wales should have access to safe streets and making default 20mph limits in our communities will also help to reduce the dominance of motor vehicles. 

“This will help to make our streets more attractive for people to walk, wheel and cycle in. It will also create opportunities for social interaction between community members and support the local economy.”