Wales 20mph limit starts Sept 17th - a heads-up


Full Member
Just a warning for all you Englanders and Scotlanders (edit: and Irish of course) that a default 20mph speed limit starts throughout Wales on September 17th.
So, wherever the default limit was 30 - as defined by lit street lights - will now be 20.

Just to be helpful, and in a move guaranteed to catch you out, the Welsh government are taking down most existing 20 signs. New 20 signs are being erected all over the place, including on A roads but, if you don't see a 20 sign, don't assume it doesn't apply. To further confuse, county councils are able to define sections of road which are exempt from this new law. All of this, of course, at enormous expense.

Anyway, just be careful out there, guys and girls.
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I totally get the safety perspective, and at school entry/exit times (as one example) it makes perfect sense.

But - what about taxis taking people home from nightclubs at 2.00 am when the streets are quiet? Every trip will take half as long again as it would have.

Then, emissions. Vehicles are pumping out fumes 50% longer. I know I've read that emissions are reduced at lower speeds, but as I understand it, only when these speeds are static - not with junctions, stop, starts.
AS above, many cars/vans will have to drop at least 2 gears which meens a longer time at maybe higher revs, so more dirt in the air, does anyone do a camper electric bike LOL.
Depends on how they police it. It's 20 outside our house and when they put up a temporary 'Your Speed' display, I monitored it for a while, the traffic was mostly travelling at 28 to 32 MPH. They removed the monitor and didn't do anything.
The 20s plenty has been running in the borders the past year, Earlston has gone back upto 30 on the A68 passing through the bottom of the village but remains in force within the village. It is apita if on a main route but fully understand using 20 within the built up area.
Euro 7 standard will include pollution created by brakes and tyres. So the Welsh move to a uniform 20mph on reaching built up areas will ensure that more brake and tyre pollution is caused to add to vehicle emissions ... Meanwhile, cyclists will be free to exceed 20mph because they have no speed measuring responsibility etc. What could possibly go wrong?

We've had the 20 limit when driving in Abergavenny for some time. Town pitch is a fairly steep hill. Fine when going up but down you're constantly braking AND honestly, watching the speed rather than the road far more than you should be.
What's really annoying? My cruise control won't work as low as 20.
When I drive in a 30mph limit I rarely achieve 30mph. The traffic in front of me dictates the speed at which I travel.
Experiments have shown that traffic flows more freely when everyone is travelling at the same steady speed and, I guess, more traffic will be able to maintain 20mph in a built up area than can maintain 30 mph, with traffic lights, road junctions, crossing pedestrians, etc.

So it's NOT a case of your journey time being 50% longer except for those odd hours when you could actually drive at the limit. AND in those hours, did you drive AT the limit or did you exceed it? If then, why not now???

30mph was bad enough, 40mph is a more sensible speed for A roads, if it's about hitting people at speed then why did we stop educating kids at school and stop the TV instructions, what happened to "look right, look left, look right again and if safe cross the road" the green cross man etc, does anyone under forty even know what a Belisha beacon is? road education should start as soon as kids are able to walk. Then teach stupid people how to walk/drive/ride with out looking at their phones.

I live in Wales and am all for it. Had a school friend killed crossing the road, and another hit and bounced over two cars but survived. Speed cushions have helped in our village. Many through routes will remain at 30mph, but the default for built up area will be 20mph. Signage will be clear. The new 20s are already up with a "3" sticker over the "2" until the 17th of Sept. The council workers will be out overnight like ninjas with paint scrapers!
Moan all they like but the Englosh will soon follow suit just as they did with banning smoking in pubs, supermarkets giving free plastic bags and cheap strong industrial alcohol being made more expensive etc. It's the way of the future. Most of residential London is already now 20mph, with many towns and cities following.

Nice problem in Gwent where a major road goes into the forest of Dene. Half of bridge will be 20 and the English half 30 😀

Undoubtedly as the election gets closer this will be blown out of all proportion.😉
Many English towns (including my local town) already have 20mph limits as do villages, this has been the case for some time now.

I agree with it in the right places, but as Sharon said, there is a danger that many motorists will be concentrating on their speedometers rather than the road.
We have loads of 20mph zones but these are mainly in housing developments old and new and make sense, all it does on main roads is add to journey times and traffic jams and more fumes to breath in.

Almost makes you think there is a plan to get rid cars altogether, and put us onto public transport. Oh no we don't have a public transport system anymore do we.