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20mph default speed limits in Wales


About the 20mph default speed limit

New legislation from Welsh Government means that the default national speed limit will fall from 30mph to 20mph on restricted roads. The legislation will come into force across Wales on 17th September 2023. From that date, the maximum speed you can legally travel on restricted roads will be 20mph.


Restricted roads are classed as 'roads with streetlights spaced no more than 200 yards apart, usually located in residential and built-up areas'.


The Welsh Government is making this change for a number of reasons, including:

  • reducing the number of collisions and severe injuries from them

  • encouraging more people to walk and cycle in our communities

  • helping to improve our health and wellbeing

  • making our streets safer; and

  • safeguarding the environment for future generations


More information on 20mph and some frequently asked questions on the policy can be found on



Pilot schemes for the 20mph default speed limit

Welsh Government committed to trial 20mph speed limits in eight settlements across Wales to help overcome any unforeseen issues before a national roll-out.


There were eight pilot areas that trialled the 20mph speed limit on restricted roads:

  • Abergavenny, Monmouthshire

  • Central North Cardiff

  • Severnside, Monmouthshire

  • Buckley, Flintshire

  • Cilfriw Village, Neath and Port Talbot

  • St Dogmaels, Pembrokeshire

  • St Brides Major, Vale of Glamorgan

  • Llanelli North, Carmarthenshire

Pilot schemes will be continually monitored to capture long term compliance, casualties and active travel, as well as economic, environmental and health impacts both pre and post the change in the national default speed limit.


Exceptions to the default 20mph limit

On some roads, a 20mph speed limit would not be appropriate or feasible. These roads will be known as exceptions, and the 30mph speed limit can remain. We will follow the statutory Traffic Regulation Orders (TROs) process to make exceptions. The TRO process will also include proposals for 30mph buffer zones. These zones will act as transitions from the higher limit into the new 20mph default limit and additional lengths of roads which considered appropriate to reduce to 20mph by Order for consistency and to simplify signing requirements.


20mph Speed Limit Exceptions Consultation

We have identified a number of 20mph ‘exception roads’ in the Vale of Glamorgan in line with the Welsh Government exceptions criteria.


You can view the proposed ‘exception roads’ and associated TROs on:


or in person at the Civic Offices reception where paper copies of the schedule and accompanying plans will be available to view until Wednesday 19 July, between 9am to 5pm Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Friday. 


You can share your views on the proposed 30mph ‘exception roads’ and associated TROs from Thursday 22 June 2023 to midnight on Wednesday 19 July 2023:


20mph Speed Limit Exceptions Consultation


You can fill in our online survey for each of the areas you wish to make a comment. Alternatively you can write to us at: Director of Environment and Housing, Vale of Glamorgan Council, Alps Depot, Wenvoe, CF5 6AA.


Exceptions will depend on the outcome of the public consultation and will not be implemented until after the 17 September 2023.



Advanced work ahead of the default 20mph speed limit

We have already started work to prepare for the changes on 17 September 2023. We are:

  • Removing redundant 20mph signage starting with carriageway roundels and gateway features and finishing with the statutory 20mph speed limit signs

  • Installing new poles in places where new signposts will be required for restricted roads

We are developing a strategy to install the signage for the new 20mph default speed limit and exception sites on or after the implementation date of 17th September 2023. Works to change signage will likely continue past 17th September due to the extent of the road network affected and number of signs to be converted or changed.