PUBLIC Health Wales (PHW) believes that lowering the default speed limit to 20mph could have substantial health benefits.

The Welsh Government says it is 'still learning' from the 20mph pilot in Buckley and other areas as they prepare for the national rollout.

The Government confirmed there have been discussions with Flintshire Council in relation to the pilot in Buckey, which has proven unpopular among residents due to ongoing issues.

But, according to PHW, evidence shows that not only will 20mph reduce the risk of traffic crashes, it can also help people feel safer to walk and cycle more.

Read more: Wrexham: Police issue warning following e-scooter incidents

They say it will also benefit people’s physical and mental well-being and may also reduce the number of vehicles on the road resulting in less damage to the environment.

PHW also add that the switch from 30mph to 20mph doesn’t make a significant difference to journey times; the increase in journey time for urban travel is just 17 seconds per mile and could be less in rural areas.

Dr Sarah J Jones, Consultant in Environmental Public Health at Public Health Wales said: “Travelling at 20 mph has been shown to reduce the risk of crashing and the severity of crashes that do still happen. It also produces less noise pollution and reduces fuel consumption.

"It encourages people to walk and cycle, helping to fight obesity and improve mental well-being. All of these are likely to contribute to improvements in health and reduction in the demands for health services, which will help the NHS recovery from COVID.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) states that 45 per cent of pedestrians get killed when struck by a car going at 30mph or less but only 5 per cent when going at 20mph or less.

The target date for the national rollout is April 2023 and only 1 per cent of urban roads have been changed in Wales so far, but the implementation of the change in speed limit will differ from area to area as local authorities are in charge of the change.