Reducing Speed Limits - Safer @20MPH

Blaenau Gwent’s streets should become even safer with 20mph speeds limits being introduced as the default limit. This is a legislation change by Welsh Government being implemented across Wales.

This follows the announcement in 2019 by the First Minister that 20mph should be the default speed limit for all residential roads in Wales.  Legislation to make that change throughout Wales was passed by the Senedd on 12th July 2022 and is due to come into effect on 17th September 2023.

The proposals form a key part of the Welsh Government’s policy for road safety and active travel throughout Wales by aiming to create a culture for slower speeds, reducing the number and severity of road casualties, supporting alternative travel modes such as walking and cycling by making the roads less intimidating to non-motorised vehicle users and benefiting physical and mental wellbeing.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council will continue to promote the benefits of the lower speed limits throughout the campaign, with GoSafe and Gwent Police continuing to enforce speed limits throughout the county where necessary. Ongoing monitoring will continue, in order for the council, police and Welsh Government to understand the levels of compliance within the new speed limits.

For more information, please visit: Introducing 20mph speed limits: frequently asked questions | GOV.WALES

To view roads affected by changes to the speed limit on restricted roads, please visit Data Map Wales.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will a reduced speed limit actually improve safety?

The World Health Organisation states that the most effective way to improve pedestrian safety is to reduce the speed of vehicles. 50% of casualties on our roads in 2018, occurred on 30mph roads. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) states that 45% of pedestrians get killed when struck by a car going at 30mph or less but only 5% when going at 20mph or less.

Why do you want to introduce a 20mph speed limit on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets across Blaenau Gwent?

We believe that introducing a 20mph on residential roads and busy pedestrian streets across Blaenau Gwent would:

  • reduce the risk and severity of injuries as a result of collisions between vehicles and vulnerable road users
  • encourage more people to cycle and walk
  • make Blaenau Gwent more attractive for our communities
  • bring physical and mental health benefits.

Will reducing speeds to 20mph damages my car gear box?

Most modern cars can drive at 20mph without damaging the engine or components. 20mph limits have been used since the early 1990s and there have been no reported gearbox issues. Using too low a gear at any speed may increase wear on gearboxes. Using the right gear and driving at a consistent speed will help prolong engine and gearbox life.

What will happen in 2023?

When the speed limit across Wales changes next year, all 20 mph signage and road markings will be removed. Instead, the parts of the road network that will remain at 30 mph will have new signs installed. Where there is street lighting on a road, with no speed limit signs, drivers should assume that the speed limit is 20 mph.

Some roads will stay at 30 mph and have been identified using a variety of approaches including a special ‘exceptions’ process and local knowledge. The Welsh Government is working closely with GoSafe who enforce speed limits in Wales to ensure that the new speed limits are respected and driver behaviour change is supported.