THE WELSH Government has revealed some of the most frequently asked questions (FAQ's) they receive about Wales' new 20mph speed limits - and what they have to say in response to them.

As of September 17, the majority of residential roads throughout the country changed from 30mph to 20mph.

The change has been met by anger and frustration with a petition opposing it collecting over 461,000 signatures to date - making it the most signed petition in Senedd history.

The Welsh Government claims that the new speed limits will have to save lives.

But, many have been left with questions unanswered over the new speed limits in Wales.

That is why a section of the Welsh Government website has now been dedicated to answering some of the concerns people may have.


Here are just some of those FAQ's on that part of the website which the Welsh Government has provided an answer to:

Question: Why did you introduce a 20mph speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets across Wales?

Welsh Gov says: The evidence from around the world is very clear – decreasing speeds will reduce collisions, save lives and reduce injuries – helping to improve quality of life and make our streets and local communities safer for all.

A public health study estimated that the 20mph default speed limit could result – every year - in; 40% fewer collisions, 6 to 10 lives saved, 1,200 to 2,000 people avoiding injury.

The change will also; Make streets safer for playing, walking and cycling, encourage more people to walk, wheel or cycle, makes our communities safer, improve health and wellbeing and reduce noise pollution

Question: Why have you made this change?

Welsh Gov says: This is not a blanket change. These changes will affect most 30mph roads, but not all.

The law changes the default speed limited on restricted roads. These are usually residential or busy pedestrian streets with streetlights. 

We provided local authorities with guidance to help them to choose which of their roads should remain at 30mph.

Question: How much is this change costing?

Welsh Gov says: The introduction of the 20mph speed limit costs £32 million.

This cost is outweighed by the casualty prevention savings, including the reduced impact on NHS and emergency services. One public health study estimates these savings could be up to £92m every year. And that’s without considering the wider health benefits of people walking and cycling more.

Question: Will the 20mph speed limit be enforced?

South Wales Argus:

Welsh Gov says: The Police and GoSafe will enforce 20mph, like any other speed limit, to make our roads safer for all users. They will also be engaging with motorists to ensure that the new speed limits are respected.

Question: So, this is just a money-making scheme for Welsh Government, isn’t it?

Welsh Gov says: No. This is a road safety scheme.

Initially there will be an engagement approach for drivers who are driving just over the limit. More information on this can be found here: GoSafe - 20mph Enforcement

People who are caught speeding significantly over 20mph, as with any other speed limit, will risk a fine and points on their licence.

The money generated by 20mph speeding fines, as with all speeding fines, is directed to HM Treasury. Welsh Government do not receive any monies from speeding fines.

Question: Won’t 20mph prevent emergency services from getting to emergency calls on time?

Welsh Gov says: Police, fire and ambulance services are allowed by law to exceed speed limits to respond to emergency calls. The introduction of the 20mph default speed limit does not change that and so should not delay their response.

The police believe response times will not be affected and that the roads being slower could make it easier for emergency services to make progress.

Question: Why are you bringing this in when no-one supports it?

Welsh Gov says: Most people in Wales (63%) support a lower speed limit where people live.

The law was also passed by the majority of the Senedd.

Question: Why can’t the 20mph limit be only used around schools?

Welsh Gov says: Introducing a 20mph default speed limit will make children safer from the moment they leave home – regardless of where they are going, and keeps them safe – inside and outside of school hours.

A 20mph speed limit outside the school won’t protect children for the whole journey as they walk or cycle from home, it would only protect them near the school.

But it won’t just protect children. This change is designed to make streets safer for all of us.

Question: Will reducing speeds to 20mph damage my car?

Welsh Gov says: Modern cars can drive at 20mph without damaging the engine or components. 

Spain brought in a default 30KMph (19mph) speed limit in urban areas in 2021. They have not seen evidence of any vehicle damage from driving at the new default limit. 

Question: Will driving at 20mph mean I use more fuel?

Welsh Gov says: No. Fuel consumption is mainly influenced by the way we drive – driving at a consistent speed is better than stopping and starting. Accelerating up to 30mph can take twice as much energy as speeding up to 20mph.

A default 20 mph limit and a smooth driving style, can help avoid unnecessary speeding up and slowing down, saving fuel.