Written Statement: 20mph Review Team Final Report

Today, I am pleased to publish the final report from the Welsh Government-appointed review team, which has evaluated the Exceptions Guidance for the default 20mph speed limit on restricted roads in Wales. 

The review team has looked at how highway authorities have applied the 20mph policy change across Wales. The report recognises the need for balance between safety concerns and potential benefits of higher speeds on key strategic or main roads. It suggests that revised guidance is required to provide a systematic procedure for assessing roads for speed limit adjustments. This should clarify core principles while balancing consistency with flexibility, acknowledging the complexity of decisions regarding speed limits.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the review team for this important work. The findings will be used to lay the groundwork for changes and revisions to the guidance on which local roads can be exempted from the 20mph limit. This will be published before summer recess. We want to co-create a framework that supports highway authorities to make the right decisions for local roads, particularly when those calls are finely balanced. 

From September, we will continue to support highway authorities in assessing roads, making traffic regulation orders, and implementing changes on the ground. It is likely to take several months before we begin to see the results of this work.

Councils are already assessing local roads that may require adjustments. Through our listening programme, I have encouraged the public to share their thoughts on where 20mph limits should be targeted, both on local authority roads and on the Welsh Government managed trunk road network. Once local authorities have collaborated with communities and the new framework is finalised, highway authorities will consider if the speed limits on any of the roads (or section of roads) that they are responsible for should change. 

The primary goal of the 20mph default policy is to save lives and reduce casualties on our roads. By listening to what people want for their communities, we are committed to refining this policy and ensuring appropriate speed limits on the right roads. Ultimately, the extent of change will be determined by the relevant highway authorities.