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Living Streets Cymru is #ReadyFor20mph

Our Public Affairs Manager for Wales, Josh James, talks about how Living Streets Cymru has been involved in the roll-out of Wales’s new 20mph default speed limit that comes into force next September.

Today (Friday 17 March 2023) marks six months until the default speed limit changes from 30mph to 20mph in Wales.

At Living Streets, we have long campaigned for 20mph to be the speed limit where people live, work and play. We know it makes streets safer and more pleasant to spend time in, and will encourage more people to walk, wheel and cycle around their local communities.

Following the Welsh Government’s 20mph pilot in eight towns across Wales, we were delighted when the Senedd passed legislation to move to a default 20mph on residential roads back in 2022.

Living Streets Cymru was a member of the task force group that recommended the change, so it was fitting that today we visited Felinfoel in Llanelli to mark six months until the change is rolled out across all of Wales. Felinfoel was one of the pilot areas where Welsh Government trialled the scheme.

4 people stand by a 20mph sign including Josh and a woman wearing a pink Living Streets tshirt

Deputy Minister Lee Waters with Christine Clarke and Living Streets Cymru

"Our streets should be places where people want to walk, so reducing the speed limit to 20mph is definitely a step in the right direction." - Christine Clarke, Llanelli Living Streets

Our report on the combination of 20mph limits and the Living Streets Walk to School programme in Wales showed that rates of children walking, wheeling or cycling to school increased from 49% to 74% when introduced together.

front cover of Wales 20mph pilot support report

Today, our local Living Streets campaigners, local care home residents, and children from Ysgol Y Felin took to the streets to support the reduction in the default speed limit across Wales. Llanelli residents were joined by Living Streets Cymru and Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters MS, who took a walk together to celebrate safer and more welcoming streets for pedestrians.

Christine Clarke from the Llanelli Living Streets Local Group says:

"Slower speed limits have really benefitted the community in Felinfoel, making it a safer place for residents.

"It's so important that our streets are places where people want to walk because it's good for our health and reduces air pollution, so reducing the speed limit to 20mph is definitely a step in the right direction."

The next six months give us the opportunity to communicate to residents the many benefits of 20mph limits to their communities. Along with the enforcement of new speed limits, how we tell people about the change will be crucial to its success.

We look forward to seeing the difference this makes across Wales from 17 September, but in the meantime, today showed that Wales and Living Streets Cymru are #ReadyFor20mph.

20mph sign


Research shows that pedestrians are 40 per cent less likely to die when hit by a car travelling at 20mph compared with one travelling at 30mph. When hit at 20mph a pedestrian’s chance of survival is up to 97%.

As well as making collisions less severe when they do happen, the slower speed also increases the chances of avoiding a collision in the first place. When the speed limit is reduced from 30mph to 20mph there is typically an average decline in casualties of at least 20%.

In Wales, it has been estimated that with the widespread introduction of 20mph, 6–10 lives would be saved and 1,200–2,000 casualties avoided each year. The value of preventing these casualties is between £58M–£94M each year [2].

Evidence also suggests that with fewer casualties on our streets, more people choose to walk and cycle.

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