ETSC welcomes Irish speed limit review

  • September 25, 2023

ETSC has written to the Irish transport minister Eamon Ryan to welcome a review of speed limits, which, if passed into law, could significantly reduce road deaths in Ireland. 

The letter followed the publication earlier this month of the final report of Ireland’s Speed Limit Review.

The review’s key proposals include:

  • default speed limit on national secondary roads to reduce from 100km/h to 80km/h
  • default speed limit for the network of local and rural roads throughout the country to reduce from 80km/h to 60km/h
  • default speed limit on urban roads, which include built-up areas as well as housing estates and town centres, to reduce to 30km/h

There are no proposed changes to the default speed limits on motorways, national primary roads or regional roads contained in the review. The framework also allows for some appropriate, upward variations where a road is deemed to be safe and good quality on assessment by local authorities.

In a letter to Mr Ryan, Antonio Avenoso, ETSC’s Executive Director said: “We encourage your government to pass the necessary legislation to implement these changes as soon

as possible. This will be a significant step forward to reaching the goals set out in Ireland’s Road Safety Strategy.”

The Irish announcement came in the same week Wales moved to a 20 mph speed limit on most urban roads.  

One week after the new speed limit came into force in Wales, an initial assessment found a 2.9 mph drop in speeds on surveyed roads, averaging 19.77 mph compared to 22.67 mph the week before the change. The data and subsequent analysis used traffic information along main routes in ten towns and cities totalling 261 miles in length in the period one week before and one week after the switch.