VEHICLE speeds on new 20mph roads in a part of Newport have fallen just 3mph, a government report has revealed.

The Welsh Government set up 43 monitoring sites across nine areas last year - including Allt-yr-yn in Newport.

Researchers monitored vehicle speeds over four weeks in July and early September, when the roads had a 30mph limit, and again over two weeks in November and December to gauge the effects of 20mph.

South Wales Argus: The Welsh Government has published its first findings after the 20mph limit which came in last SeptemberThe Welsh Government has published its first findings after the 20mph limit which came in last September (Image: PA)

It shows speeds on affected roads in Allt-yr-yn, Newport, have fallen from 26.1mph to 23.1mph.

Speeds in Blaenavon, Cwmbran and Pontypool have fallen from 29.4mph to 26.5mph for an even smaller decrease of just 2.9mph.

Across all the monitoring sites, average speeds fell from 28.9mph to 24.8mph for a reduction of 4.1mph.

The Welsh Government expects a six per cent reduction in collisions for every 1mph reduction on urban roads.

Deputy climate change minister Lee Waters, whose responsibility for transport saw him play a leading role in implementing the policy, said the data was “clear evidence” of falling speeds across Wales.

“We’ve still got a way to go, but it’s encouraging to see that things are moving in the right direction,” he said. “Every 1mph reduction in speed makes a real difference – so this is a real turning point.”

Barmy or beneficial?

The government hopes the slower traffic will foster safer streets and other modes of travel such as walking or cycling.

The data shows some early signs of success in terms of reducing the number of cars on the road. In eight of the nine areas studied, there were fewer vehicles in the post-20mph period - despite it coming in the busy Christmas build-up.

In Torfaen, there were 300,461 vehicles recorded per week in November and December, down from 315,892 in the earlier part of the year.

Allt-yr-yn was the only area where the number of vehicles per week increased - from 108,148 to 117,877.

Welsh Conservative shadow transport minister Natasha Asghar said the 4mph reduction showed the controversial policy to be a “monumental waste of time and resources”.

She added: “To sacrifice billions of pounds from the Welsh economy all for the sake of 4mph may satisfy Labour, but it is not a trade the Welsh Conservatives would be willing to make.

“On day one of a Welsh Conservative government, this barmy policy would be scrapped and common sense would prevail.”