London bus next to a 20 mph speed sign

Welsh government supports a 20 mph default speed limit in residential areas

  • May 10, 2019

The Welsh government has said it supports a default 20 mph (32 km/h) speed limit on residential streets, following positive results from pilot schemes in the cities of Swansea and Cardiff.

Wales has had the power to set speed limits in the country since last year, they were previously set by the UK government in London.

20 mph limits are in place in many towns and cities across the UK.  The Mayor of London announced a default 20 mph limit for London as part of a Vision Zero action plan launched last year.    Most of the City of Edinburgh in Scotland is covered by a 20 mph zone that has been put in place over several phases since 2016.

A study for the UK government published last year found that just changing speed signs to 20 mph has a limited impact, suggesting that enforcement and infrastructure changes are necessary to achieve long-lasting effects on road safety.

In Germany, the council of Göttingen in Lower Saxony is aiming to introduce a 30 km/h limit across the city, but the plans are being hampered by rules set at the German Federal State level, according to an article published earlier this month in Süddeutsche Zeitung.