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Welsh ministers boast that average road speeds have dropped by 4mph since rolling out the controversial 20mph speed limit.

Transport for Wales has been monitoring drivers’ speed on certain 20mph roads across nine communities. They concluded that the average speeds dropped from 28.9mph to 24.8mph since the scheme launched, according to the Labour-led government.

When the new limit took effect in September 2023, the government said that it did not expect drivers to reduce their speeds to 20mph immediately and proclaimed that road users would benefit from any reduction.

Despite this drop, critics still call for the scheme to be scrapped, claiming it has been a “monumental” waste of money.

Natasha Asghar, the Welsh Conservative shadow minister for transport, said: “These findings prove what a monumental waste of time and resources from the Labour government the 20mph limit has been. On day one of a Welsh Conservative government, this barmy policy would be scrapped, and common sense would prevail.”

However, the government remains dedicated to the cause, stating that the research highlights how the number of collisions and injuries caused by vehicles on the road has significantly reduced thanks to the scheme.

On roads where the new speed limit is in place, there has been an average 6% reduction in collisions per 1mph reduction.

Ross Moorlock, chief executive of road safety charity Brake, said: “It’s encouraging to see how the new 20mph speed limit has reduced the overall speeds of these roads. Every day, five people die on UK roads and speed is a factor in every crash. The faster we drive, the greater our risk of crashing, and the harder we hit if we do crash.

“We hope that governments and local authorities across the UK will take Wales’s lead and adopt 20mph as the default speed on roads where people and vehicles mix.”

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