Plans to reduce the national speed limit in Wales will form part of the Welsh Government’s legislative priorities this year, deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters has confirmed.
The plans involve changing the national speed limit in Wales from 30mph to 20mph on residential roads and pedestrian streets.
The Welsh Government said, if passed, Wales will be the first country in the UK to introduce the change.
The first phase of the change is being rolled out in eight communities across Wales this year to gather data and develop a best practice approach before the proposed full rollout in 2023, the Government said.
As part of the approach, the Welsh Government has launched a consultation for people to have their say on the change before the necessary legislation is laid.
Waters said: “Making 20mph the default speed limit on busy pedestrian streets and in residential areas across Wales is a bold step that brings about significant benefits.
“Not only does it save lives, but it also helps to make our streets a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, has a positive outcome for our physical and mental wellbeing and with fewer vehicles on the road helps create a positive impact on the environment.
“We know this move won’t be easy – it’s as much about changing hearts and minds as it is about hard enforcement – but over time 20mph will become the norm, just like the restrictions we’ve introduced before on carrier bag change, smoking inside businesses and organ donation.”
The consultation will run for 12 weeks and will come to an end on September 30.
The village St Brides Major in the Vale of Glamorgan is one of the areas taking part in the first phase.
The Welsh Government said teachers and pupils from the local primary school have welcomed the move and have played an active part in the roll out.
Pilot areas and planned start dates:
- Pembrokeshire (St Dogmaels) – Live
- Carmarthenshire (Llanelli North) – Mid July
- Vale of Glamorgan (St Brides Major) – Live
- Cardiff (NW Cardiff) – September.
- Neath/Port Talbot (Cilfrew Village) – September
- Monmouthshire (Abergavenny & Severnside) – Jan/Feb 2022
- Flintshire (Buckley) – TBC