New research has discovered that a new 20mph default speed limit in communities across Wales could save £100 million. Quadrant Transport explores the research and how its findings will support the people of Wales.
Alongside the publication of a new survey, the research shows continued public support for the national rollout in Wales of the lower 20mph speed limit next year – a UK first.
The Welsh Government will introduce a default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads across Wales in September 2023. Restricted roads include those with streetlights and are usually located in residential and built-up areas with high pedestrian activity.
Reducing Speed Limits Will Help Improve The Environment
Conducted by the Transport Research Institute (TRI) at Edinburgh Napier university, in conjunction with Public Health Wales, the research estimates that a new default of 20mph on residential roads across Wales will save around £100 million in the first year alone. The estimated cost saving is the direct result of fewer deaths and injuries.
It is estimated that the new 20mph default speed limit will save more than 100 lives over a decade, and 14,000 casualties in total could be avoided.
Deputy Minister for Climate Change Lee Waters said: “The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.
“Slower speeds also create a safer and more welcoming environment, giving people the confidence to walk and cycle more, which will help to improve our health and wellbeing and help to improve the environment.
“This new research shows the savings in terms of reductions in people being hurt or killed but the benefits of 20mph stretch much further than casualty savings alone. The report suggests the lower speed limit will help encourage physical activity and in turn reduce obesity, stress and anxiety.
“As with any change, we know it will take time for people to adapt. But I’m pleased to see the early indications show a majority of people are in favour of 20mph,”
and I am confident that if we all work together, we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future.
A 20mph Speed Limit Will Make It Safer For Pedestrians
A new independent public attitude survey, conducted by Beaufort Research on behalf of the Welsh Government, shows most respondents support a new lower speed limit.
Almost two-thirds of people surveyed said that they would support a 20mph speed limit where they lived, and 62 per cent said that they wanted everyone to slow down on the roads.
When asked about safety, 64 per cent of respondents said that the 20mph speed limit makes it safer for pedestrians, while 57 per cent agreed that 20mph means fewer serious collisions on the roads. Almost half (47 per cent) thought 20mph would make it safer for cyclists.