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Welsh Government 20mph limit countdown begins

The countdown to the introduction of the Welsh Government's 20mph limit across the country has started.

View of Swansea

The Welsh Government law is set to come into force on September 17 and it will mean streets and roads across the country, including Swansea, see existing 30mph limits reduced to 20mph in most cases.

Swansea Council, along with all other local authorities in Wales, are being asked to start taking steps now ahead of the September date.

A spokesman for Swansea Council said: "The Welsh Government passed the 20mph law last year and has told councils they have to implement the changes.

"Although the new rules will not start until September, there is a lot of preparation work to do to, including setting up new 20mph sign-posts and taking down 30mph ones, where necessary.

"We're expecting Welsh Government to fund the work we and other councils need to do and it will be our aim to keep disruption caused by the change-over process to a minimum."

Following pilot studies before the law was introduced last year, Welsh Government has given councils some very limited scope to exempt a small number of current 30mph roads from the changes.

Swansea Council is looking at which roads in Swansea might be affected by potential exemptions and are discussing the issue with ward members before finalising arrangements and undertaking a formal public consultation on the proposed exemptions.

A report to Cabinet seen by members on March 23 provides an update on progress made so far and sets out the processes to be followed in finalising the maps which will lead to public consultation on those roads identified as being exempt, which means they will remain at 30mph.

Welsh Government has told councils they introduced the new law because evidence shows that lower speeds result in fewer collisions and a reduced severity of injuries. Evidence suggests pedestrians are five times more likely to be killed if hit by a vehicle driven at 30mph, compared to 20mph.

The council spokesman said: "It's our understanding that this is the reason why there will be few exemptions to the Welsh Government's 20mph rule. It's anticipated exemptions could be allowed for 30mph roads where evidence exists that higher speeds are safe for pedestrians and cyclists interacting with traffic."

Once the new rules are in place, they will be enforced by the police and GoSafe. As usual, the proceeds of any fixed penalty notices or other fines will go to the Welsh Government and not councils.

You can find out more about the Welsh Government 20mph rules here:

You can find out more about the work of GoSafe here:

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