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Do you feel the need for speed? The new speed restrictions in Wales

Posted on September 28th 2023

You may have seen or heard in the recent news that from midnight on the 17th September 2023 the default speed limit in residential areas in Wales was reduced from 30 mph to 20 mph.

Speed is a major contributory factor in approximately one third of road traffic collisions

According to a Public Health Study it is estimated the reduction to 20 mph could lead to 40% less road traffic collisions, resulting in thousands of people avoiding injury or loss of life. The Department of Transport and Local Government stated that speed is a major contributory factor in approximately one third of road traffic collisions.

Approximately 27% of fatal collisions involved the parties driving in excess of the speed limit and approximately 16% of serious injuries were caused where a collision involved a driver driving at speed in excess of the speed limit.

Research also stated that if a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle at 30 mph they have a 20% chance they will be killed whereas this is a 2.5% chance if the vehicle is travelling at 20 mph.

What is the downside – is there one?

According to media reports many drivers are unhappy about the reduction in the speed limit as they think it will take them longer to complete their journeys. According to research the reduction in speed from 30 mph to 20 mph should add no more than 1 minute to your journey.

It appears from a recent study carried out since the change was introduced, that journey times have only been increased between 45 – 63 seconds on average.

Vulnerable Road Users

Vulnerable road users are those who have less crash protection than someone in a motor vehicle and therefore they have a greater risk of being injured or killed in a road traffic collision.

Vulnerable road users include children, cyclists, motorcyclists, horse riders and pedestrians.

A reduction in the speed limit should be a welcome change for vulnerable road users as there should be considerably less collisions/accidents, less fatalities and serious injuries if a collision or accident does occur.


If, as a vulnerable road user, you have been injured and are considering making a claim for compensation, contact our specialist Personal Injury Team at Oliver & Co on 01244 312306 where you are guaranteed to speak to one of our experienced Solicitors who can advise and guide you.

Call and speak to a member of our team on 01244 312306