Benefits to the 20MPH Speed Limit in Wales

Benefits to the 20MPH Speed Limit in Wales

Speed limits in built-up areas are going to be reduced from 30MPH to 20MPH in Wales from next year. This will be a significant change, and this decision has been considered controversial to some drivers.
Here, we are looking at some of the proposed benefits to the 20MPH speed limit change in Wales, and how it may positively affect drivers.

Improves air quality

The Department for Transport guidelines state that “Generally, driving more slowly at a steady pace saves fuel and carbon dioxide emissions, unless an unnecessarily low gear is used.”
Longer journeys do not necessarily mean more pollution.

Reduces noise

Noise studies have shown that there is about a 3 decibel reduction at 20MPH when compared to higher driving speeds.

Fuel Efficient

According to studies, the reduced speed limit meant that drivers changed gear 12% less, 14% would break less often and 12% said they required less fuel.

Fewer casualties

The World Health Organisation states that the most effective way to improve pedestrian safety is to reduce the speed at which vehicles travel. 50% of casualties on UK roads in 2018 occurred on 30MPH roads.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents conducted a study on 20MPH zones and found that there was a 1.5% chance of fatality for pedestrians struck by a car in a 20MPH zone, as opposed to an 8% chance of fatality at 30MPH.

Encourages alternative modes of transport

According the the website, the reason for introducing the 20MPH speed limit on residential roads will:

  • Reduce the risk and severity of injuries as a result of collisions between vehicles and road users
  • Encourage more people to pick alternative modes of transport
  • Make Wales more attractive for our communities
  • Bring physical and mental health benefits

The government has reassured everyone that the 20MPH limit will not increase the number of drivers on the road, and therefore there will be no increase in congestion.
They believe that traffic will flow more smoothly, and this will be a benefit overall. As well as the community and road safety benefits, there are many proposd environmental benefits to this change.

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