Millions of people will benefit from the Welsh 20mph limit from Sept 2023

The debate on the default 20mph limit coming to residential areas in Wales often focusses on what it means for drivers.  Yet, for residential areas it makes little difference to journey times. The real impact of 20mph limits will be felt by the millions of people who use our streets whilst not in motors. Those using their legs.


Reports[1] show millions of people in Wales will gain - most obviously the close to 300,000 households without access to a car or van, where every trip starts on the pavement (if they have one) outside their home - to their work, school, shops or leisure.  48% of lone parent families do not have car or van access. The “school run” for them is more a “school walk, scoot or cycle”. This is vastly improved when motors are limited to 20mph. Infographic_People_in_Wales_Benefiting.jpg

Some non car owning households include elderly people - many wishing to continue their independent mobility in later years to maintain their health. Older people tend to cross roads more slowly, so 20mph limits offer a big difference to their ability to cross streets safely and enjoy community life.

For over 500,000 children in Wales their independent transport options are walking, cycling or scooting. 20mph limits are particularly beneficial for primary school age children who are still developing their cognitive skills to assess vehicle speeds. 20mph limits help drivers to protect them so that they can safely move around community streets.

600,000 people in Wales have concessionary travel passes. For them the first and last mile will be walking. Waiting at a bus stop is far more pleasant when motors aren’t rushing past at 30mph.

Finally, there are those 12,133[2] who would avoid injury or death because of drivers having the time and space to avoid a crash when cars are travelling slower. Could that be a member of your family whose injury or death is avoided?

Rod King MBE, Founder and Campaign Director for 20’s Plenty for Us commented:
“20’s coming to communities in Wales and will provide benefits to millions. It will involve behaviour change in drivers, but the benefits to so many others will be huge. Who wouldn’t agree to adding just a little time to their journey to make Welsh communities a better place for all?

Fiona Andrews from St Dogmaels in Pembrokeshire, which has a 20mph limit throughout, said:
“Because of 20mph, new activities like a couch to 5k running group began and children have more and better friendships as they can more safely walk and chat on streets.”

[1] Welsh Transport Trends – Supporting Information -

[2] The value of prevention -

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