Eight new 20 mile per hour zones are being rolled out in communities across Wales to test the process of reducing the country’s default speed limit on residential and busy pedestrian streets from 30 mph.
The pilots are part of wider consultation work that the Welsh Government is undertaking to understand public feedback on the change.
Online focus groups with residents from communities involved in the first phase, independently commissioned research, and a public consultation are all being considered ahead of a full rollout next year.
“The evidence is clear, decreasing speeds not only reduces accidents and saves lives, but helps improve people’s quality of life – making our streets and communities a safer and more welcoming place for cyclists and pedestrians, whilst helping reduce our environmental impact,” said Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with a responsibility for transport, Lee Waters.
“As with any cultural change we know it takes time to win hearts and minds and inevitably we will face some challenge, but I am confident that if we all work together we can make the necessary changes that will benefit us now and in the future.”
Whitchurch in Cardiff is one of the areas taking part in the first phase. Teachers and pupils from the local primary school have welcomed the move and were keen to share with the Deputy Minister their thoughts on the scheme and what they are doing to promote walking and cycling locally when he visited.
“We are delighted to be playing such a prominent role in this exciting and very important initiative,” said Head teacher at Whitchurch Primary School, Ann Griffin. “Reducing the speed limit on our roads will not only make them safer but also help to promote alternative, greener forms of transport like walking and cycling. Active travel is a key part of the curriculum at our school and our children play an active role in encouraging others to make more sustainable and active travel choices.”
(Picture – Welsh Government)