Support road.cc

Like this site? Help us to make it better.

20mph speed limits in Wales

I may have missed it but I've not seen this discussed here.

A (non cycling) message board I belong to has been in meltdown, 'long delays to my journey', 'more accidents caused by drivers staring at their speedometers',  'increased pollution caused by slower traffic and car engines being inefficient at 20mph'.

Also many of them signing a protest petition despite non of them being Welsh or living in Wales!

 

If you're new please join in and if you have questions pop them below and the forum regulars will answer as best we can.

Add new comment

160 comments

Avatar
Simon E | 1 month ago
6 likes

Guardian article published just now: Vehicle damage claims in Wales fall 20% since speed limit cut to 20mph, says insurer

Quote:

Rob Clark, head of motor underwriting at esure, said: “We can see a clear drop in vehicle damage claims in Wales since the 20mph speed restriction was introduced in September 2023. During a time when we usually see these claims rise, they dropped and have continued to do so in the first quarter of 2024. The restriction is clearly having an impact.”

https://www.theguardian.com/business/article/2024/jun/09/vehicle-damage-...

 

Avatar
mdavidford replied to Simon E | 1 month ago
3 likes

Simon E wrote:

Guardian article published just now: Vehicle damage claims in Wales fall 20% since speed limit cut to 20mph, says insurer

Quote:

The restriction is clearly having an impact.

Preventing impacts, surely?

Avatar
quiff replied to Simon E | 1 month ago
1 like

Hope premiums will come down then...

Avatar
OldRidgeback | 1 month ago
6 likes

Hmm, I wasn't sure about the 20mph speed limits at first, but since they've been introdcued in London I've got used to them and now appreciate them. If you're cycling, it's definitely a safety benefit if the motor vehicles are going (more or less) at 20mph and the same goes for pedestrians too. When you see a car going by at 30mph, it instantly looks too fast. The research so far already reflects the safety benefits.

For all those drivers moaning about 20mph being too slow and inefficient, they might want to check some facts. Research shows that for urban areas, the 20mph speed limits make little difference to journey times.

I commute 2 times/week by motorbike to the office and about 7 miles of that 17 mile journey is on roads previously with a 30mph limit and now with a 20mph limit. And the difference in commute time is..... hardly anything. Interestingly, I also use slightly less fuel, not more! I assume this is because I accelerate less, which is when vehicles use more fuel. I'm getting up to 5 miles more out of a tank of fuel, not much, but noticeable all the same. And better fuel economy means fewer emissions too.

As much as trundling along on a sports motorcycle at 20mph may seem more frustrating than reaching the heady speed of 30mph, I can't see a difference in my commuting time. I've got used to it now. Going slower means less braking effort, so brakepads and tyres will last a little bit longer too. 

So the next time you hear a motorist moaning about having to drive at 20mph rather than 30mph and how their vehicle is inefficient at that speed and how it takes so much longer, maybe ask them some pointed questions about the difference in journey times. I bet they can't see a difference.

Avatar
Steve K | 1 month ago
8 likes

So, just after the evidence comes out showing that 20mph limits reduce casualties, the Conservatives announce that they will ban them if elected. Thankfully, that's similar to me planning all the things I'm going to do when I win the lottery, even though I never buy a ticket.

Avatar
Simon E replied to Steve K | 1 month ago
4 likes

Steve K wrote:

So, just after the evidence comes out showing that 20mph limits reduce casualties, the Conservatives announce that they will ban them if elected. Thankfully, that's similar to me planning all the things I'm going to do when I win the lottery, even though I never buy a ticket.

More comparable might be deciding that 1 in every 150 people buying a ticket is given an electric shock while 1 in 1,000 is killed by a speeding driver shortly after walking out of the shop.

Welsh Tories seem only interested in knee-jerk opposition to anything that Labour does. And, since they give the impression of being utter bar stewards, doing so requires no ethical dilemmas or pricking of conscience. By all means hold the government to account, that's absolutely essential, but STOP playing games with people's lives!

Avatar
andystow | 1 month ago
8 likes

Well, color me surprised! In just three months, 218 fewer casualties, a 32% reduction.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to andystow | 1 month ago
0 likes

Ah, but it's "encouraging contempt for speed limits" though! *

Or it's risking a backlash - and then ALL 20mph speed limits will go back up because the ones that were "reasonable" and which had to be fought for in detail will apparently automatically revert just like the rest.

I've got slightly more regard for this one, although I'm not all over the detail e.g. would everything be undone at a stroke?  It's possible, I guess... Also, if some government / local authority just wants to tear it all up I think that's *always* doable.  At least until some future age where large parts of Wales / even the UK have actually transformed and a substantial majority of people like it that way.

* Hope I'm not doing the argument a disservice but - as far as I understood it - it was: people have some (innate? learned?) feeling for what the speed limits should be because road design makes for a natural speed limit (? or maybe just because that's what they're used to?), so changing this without any alteration to the road design triggers their feelings of unfairness / makes them notice that the law is arbitrary and think "sod it".  The latter is always a risk given our minimal enforcement - even of cut-and-dried / don't need actual coppers things like speed limits.

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to andystow | 1 month ago
3 likes

Also - I think at least as important are the more "touchy-feely" metrics - has this created nicer places?  How have people's feelings about maybe walking or cycling that trip changed?  (Perhaps it's as subtle as "I've noticed conversations are easier on the way back from school now and I get less 'but why can't you drive us there?' ")?

Or (more definable - although perhaps takes longer to change) what has been the impact on numbers walking and cycling?

Avatar
quiff replied to andystow | 1 month ago
4 likes
Avatar
Drinfinity | 8 months ago
3 likes

I was delayed by 90 minutes on my way back from Antur Stiniog*
 

*89'50" of that was on the M56, but imagine how much quicker I would have been if I could swerve through Llanrwst at 30. 

Avatar
Simon E replied to Drinfinity | 8 months ago
4 likes

Drinfinity wrote:

I was delayed by 90 minutes on my way back from Antur Stiniog*
 

*89'50" of that was on the M56, but imagine how much quicker I would have been if I could swerve through Llanrwst at 30. 

Yeah but then you get to the A55 and chances are that you join a long queue somewhere, there seem to be multiple incidents that cause tailbacks every week.

The 'grace period' that lets drivers doing 25 mph (20% + 2mph instead of the usual 10% + 2,mph) off the hook after the introduction of the new 20 mph speed limit ends on 17 December. Not a moment too soon.

Some great comments about the bloke from Leamington Spa who won't be visiting Wales again (already mentioned in this thread):

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/hilarious-responses-man-wh...

I'll be back in Bangor at the weekend. I'm already looking forward to negotiating the relatively calm 20 mph traffic when I run a few errands and, weather permitting, get out for a proper bike ride.

Avatar
David9694 replied to Simon E | 8 months ago
7 likes

Starting to think that we on here should all commit to taking a cycling holiday in Wales next year.

Avatar
Simon E replied to David9694 | 8 months ago
3 likes

I can't promise that vehicles driven outside urban areas will be as considerate (and certainly won't be doing 20 mph). But there are parts of Wales where a cycling can be great... provided you aren't expecting the terrain to be flat!

Avatar
andystow replied to David9694 | 8 months ago
3 likes

David9694 wrote:

Starting to think that we on here should all commit to taking a cycling holiday in Wales next year.

I'm planning a LEJOG next year, but unfortunately the sensible routes don't go through Wales. I will try to work in a visit before I get to my start at Land's End.

Avatar
Simon E replied to andystow | 8 months ago
1 like

andystow wrote:

I'm planning a LEJOG next year, but unfortunately the sensible routes don't go through Wales. I will try to work in a visit before I get to my start at Land's End.

Lots of great places to ride so I hope it isn't a fleeting visit. Keep us informed of your plans, it would be good to know when you're doing it. One of the nicer LEJOG routes passes through Shrewsbury and the LBS is visited frequently by those en route in need of assistance.

Avatar
quiff replied to andystow | 8 months ago
2 likes

On the whole you're right - though the Ride Across Britain (supported LEJOG) dips into Wales on Day 3 and wends up the Wye valley - and a lovely route it is too. 

Avatar
neilmck | 8 months ago
8 likes

Many towns here in France are limited to 20mph and we don't have the big motorist panic that there is in the UK. My town is limited to 20mph. I drive everywhere in 2nd gear and do not need to look at my speedometer. People do sometimes go over 20 but only in the same way that people used to go over 30. However a few very main roads have been kept to 30mph to give a strong incentive against rat running.

Avatar
David9694 | 8 months ago
2 likes

Englishman says he will 'stop coming' to Wales on holiday because it is 'too risky' with 20mph speed limit

'It looks as if Wales' loss will be Devon's gain'

"Sadly we have deiced to call a stop to our Welsh breaks as we are not prepared to risk a large fine and three penalty points for accidently doing 22mph in a built up area. It looks as if Wales' loss will be Devon's gain. I might add that several of our acquaintances all feel the same. We will really miss Wales."

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/englishman-says-stop-comin...

Avatar
Cugel replied to David9694 | 8 months ago
8 likes

David9694 wrote:

Englishman says he will 'stop coming' to Wales on holiday because it is 'too risky' with 20mph speed limit

'It looks as if Wales' loss will be Devon's gain'

"Sadly we have deiced to call a stop to our Welsh breaks as we are not prepared to risk a large fine and three penalty points for accidently doing 22mph in a built up area. It looks as if Wales' loss will be Devon's gain. I might add that several of our acquaintances all feel the same. We will really miss Wales."

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/englishman-says-stop-comin...

It's a little realised fact (I read it on a website once) that the Welsh 20mph limits in the villages and towns is to make it easier for those in The Welsh Hinterlands to capture English tourist, for rendering into pie-meat and also the stuff sold for kebabs. 

Not that any Welsh person would eat such things.  They sell them to the English tourists who manage to get through to Little England Beyond Wales. (I imagine that The Scot will enjoy them too, mind).

Cugel, adopted by The Welsh because too bitter for the pies.

Avatar
wycombewheeler replied to David9694 | 8 months ago
5 likes

David9694 wrote:

Englishman says he will 'stop coming' to Wales on holiday because it is 'too risky' with 20mph speed limit

'It looks as if Wales' loss will be Devon's gain'

 

I think you have your gain and loss mixed up

Avatar
Jogle | 9 months ago
2 likes

Wrexham magistrate quits rather than enforce 20mph law

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-wales-67208537

Avatar
wtjs replied to Jogle | 9 months ago
10 likes

Wrexham magistrate quits rather than enforce 20mph law

Good news- it is to be hoped that many police officers will also do the decent thing and accept the consequences of their refusal to enforce pretty much any traffic law ever

Avatar
Cugel replied to wtjs | 8 months ago
4 likes

wtjs wrote:

Wrexham magistrate quits rather than enforce 20mph law

Good news- it is to be hoped that many police officers will also do the decent thing and accept the consequences of their refusal to enforce pretty much any traffic law ever

In this day and age, would anyone notice the absence of the  polis? For millions and millions, such an absence is already evident, unless you want to protest that "the authorities" are in cahoots with world-burning, war-mongering loons.

Mind, the avid polis of Derbyshire, was it, did all that policing of dog walkers in remote hill areas during Covid. If it wasn't for droning after those dangerous terrorists with their dripping conks and evil hounds, we'd all be dead now!

And don't forget their very important work stopping and lecturing grandads and little girls & boys daring to ride their bicycles without a polystyrene hat! If that sort of behaviour is allowed to spread, civilisation will soon crumble.

Then there's all the hard work ignoring loons looning in cars ..... . It's exhausting having to turn so many blind eyes!

Avatar
David9694 | 9 months ago
7 likes

Multiple 'go-slow' protests planned over Wales' 20mph speed limit

The protests are taking place as part of 'National Convoy Day' organised to oppose the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London

Boredtaxidriver62, you're a genius: "Won't happen, but a better protest, would be for all motorists in Wales, to use car for essential journeys only for a month. 'They' will immediately notice the difference in fuel tax."

https://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/multiple-go-slow-protests-...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 9 months ago
8 likes

David9694 wrote:

Multiple 'go-slow' protests planned over Wales' 20mph speed limit

The protests are taking place as part of 'National Convoy Day' organised to oppose the Ultra Low Emission Zone in London

...

So - lemme get this right - this is "malicious compliance"?  Drivers are trying to make a point by pedantically following the law and driving extra carefully*?

Please can this be something that takes off and then becomes a regular thing, like drum and bass on a bike!

(* I'm assuming that they're not invoking the Critical Mass rule of keeping going if traffic lights change when the group is passing through - though I'm not sure drivers of motor vehicles have the same excuse of "safety".)

Avatar
David9694 replied to chrisonabike | 8 months ago
1 like

Can't see anything in the news today (the day after) about any of this. 

Avatar
David9694 | 9 months ago
10 likes
so despite the pro car PM, Dorset and Southampton councils have got some 20 mph plans on the go.  The desperation from drivers to avoid this is, well, interesting.  I guess on this one, lies and bluster is all that drivers have.  
But best of all, drivers actually think this is about them!
Here's a round up. 

it's not necessary 

this usually has it that the traffic is so bad all the time so it won't make any difference. 

great, so you've no objection 

drivers won't obey it / the police won't enforce it 

sometimes admissions around driver behaviour are bundlesd into the attempted objection. I remind them of the speed cameras and vans - you know, the ones that are only there to rip drivers off. 

it will make pollution worse

Again an admission of an existing problem is implicit here.  Driver myth from pre-catalyser days. 

it will increase road danger

this is the constantly watching the Speedo argument  and another admission that cars are dangerous (don't forget that we normally have to maintain the fiction that the 4-5 daily road deaths are all individual tragedies, etc)

cars can't go at 20 mph without incurring damage to clutch and gears

straight up driver myth - possibly from days of double de-clutching etc 

I can understand it outside schools 

if you were that keen, you'd be doing it now and we might not be having this conversation 

Avatar
David9694 | 9 months ago
2 likes

Ah, nuts the snowflake BE has removed comments by midday - too many drivers shitting the bed, I guess. 

The Tory opposition leader: "Our position is simple: there are much more important things to be focusing on than new measures to restrict car users even further, " and the sheer brass neck "which inevitably negatively impacts the most vulnerable."

https://www.bournemouthecho.co.uk/news/23845995.council-early-stages-bri...

Avatar
chrisonabike replied to David9694 | 9 months ago
0 likes

David9694 wrote:

The Tory opposition leader: "Our position is simple: there are much more important things to be focusing on than new measures to restrict car users even further, " and the sheer brass neck "which inevitably negatively impacts the most vulnerable."

Presumably they're feeling vulnerable themselves - to the effects of angry drivers voters...

Pages

Latest Comments