AN “educational approach” will be applied to enforcing the new 20mph speed limit that comes into effect in Wales on September 17.

And it’s estimated only one minute will be added to journey times as speed limits are slashed from 30mph to 20mph on restricted roads.

From Sunday, only three percent of roads in built-up areas will remain 30mph as 12,900kms of asphalt in Wales goes to 20mph – over a third of all roads in the country.

It’s estimated to take one year to make all the changes for the new law – which includes spending over £30million on signage changes, while not all roads in the required areas could drop down to 20mph.

If there is a clear reason for a road to remain at 30mph the case will be considered, with no cut-off time for debating if and when these changes need to take place.

How will the new 20mph speed limit be enforced?

One of the areas of the new law under most scrutiny is how it will be enforced.

Welsh Government says there will be an “educational approach” to last 12 months that will be applied to motorists who break the new law, with roadside policing teams advised to use their discretion on a case-by-case basis to allow for road users to get used to the law.

In the pilot scheme, run in eight areas of Wales including Abergavenny, Cardiff, Llanelli and St Brides, different approaches were applied to enforcement including community speed watch schemes where members of the community volunteer to help monitor motorists’ speeds.

While roadside officers can apply discretion, speed cameras cannot and are proving to be a divisive issue, with automated programs set by NPCC standards to ten per cent plus two (24mph) the threshold for which enforcement can begin.

GoSafe say they are still to create a process between Welsh government, local authorities and policing on how to respond to speeding concerns on 20mph roads.

The Leader: It's not 100 per cent clear how the new law will be enforcedIt's not 100 per cent clear how the new law will be enforced (Image: Newsquest)

Over £90million saved in casualty with the introduction of the 20mph speed limit

It’s estimated up to 12,000 people could be saved from being involved in crashes annually and there could be 40 per cent fewer collisions on Welsh roads with the introduction of the 20mph speed limit.

It’ll cost £32million to replace signs across the country, but it’s estimated the new law could save the NHS £92million in casualty prevention.    

Timeline of the introduction of the 20mph speed limit in Wales

1935: Default speed limit of roads in built-up areas is 30mph

2018: In September, 20mph speed limit legislation is passed in the Senedd with cross-party agreement.

2020: In July, a taskforce report to the Senedd their findings on the introduction of a 20mph speed limit.

2021: In May, party manifestos include 20mph speed limit legislation. Also in this year, a public consultation takes place.

2022: In July, the law is passed to enforce 20mph speed limits on built-up roads in Wales.

2023: Sunday, September 17, the 20mph speed limit is introduced.

Knocking off 10mph only adds a minute to your journey time

One of the standout findings of the new law is, despite a significant reduction in speed, Welsh Government has calculated only a minute will be added to your journey time.

Part of the reasoning for this figure was journey times are affected by a number of factors other than speed including congestion and weather conditions.

What do you think? Good idea, or bad? Is this going to add masses to your journey time? Is it the right thing to do to reduce road deaths? Is it safety-conscious gone mad? Let us know in comments and on our Facebook page.