Enforcement of the new 20mph speed limit on residential roads in Wales will begin in March it has been confirmed.

Wales became one of the first countries in the world, and the first nation in the UK, to lower the default national speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph in September.

The Welsh Government said the change in speed limit was introduced to reduce collisions, save lives and reduce injuries. 

The move has been met with backlash from residents, with over 460,000 people signing a petition in opposition to the new speed limit.

Several 20mph speed signs across Wales have also been defaced in protest.

The Leader: The introduction of the new 20mph speed limit in Wales has been met with backlash by some residents.The introduction of the new 20mph speed limit in Wales has been met with backlash by some residents. (Image: Stuart Ladd)

The 20mph speed limit was introduced on residential roads across Wales on September 17. 

Enforcement on these roads has been paused since the new speed limit was rolled out allowing motorists a "grace period" to get used to the change.

When will enforcement of the new 20mph speed limit in Wales begin?

GoSafe - a partnership made up of authorities including the Welsh Government and Wales emergency services - has been helping manage the 20mph change. 

An "engagement first" approach so far been taken when it comes to drivers caught over the speed limit in 20mph areas. 

This included the rollout of "Operation UGAIN" in January.

The teams rolled out as part of the operation have monitored nearly 25,000 vehicles in their first two months, of which 97% are not exceeding 25mph, according to GoSafe.

Where speeding drivers did not wish to receive the engagement, they were prosecuted.

A total of nine people were prosecuted in January and February 2024.

But GoSafe has now confirmed that enforcement of the new 20mph speed limit on roads will start on Monday (March 18).

GoSafe said: "Six months following the legislation change, enforcement will now be considered in all areas where there is evidence of road safety risk.

"The first response to 20mph speeding concerns will still be to use Operation Ugain, but we will assess any emerging concerns in these areas as we do in any other speed limit from 18th March 2024."

It added engagement is prioritised to support a change in behaviour to make roads in Wales safer, while enforcement is used "when it is justified and where engagement is not appropriate".

GoSafe continued: "Enforcement is always done in the right place, at the right time, for the right reason, to make our roads safer.

"The public can now be confident that where they have concerns about speeding in their communities, that these areas will be reviewed and enforced, where appropriate."

Sites where the 20mph speed limit will be enforced are based on where there has been evidence of road safety risk.

GoSafe considers enforcement where communities have raised concerns, collisions have occurred, or in areas where vulnerable road users and vehicles mix for example, near schools.

It added: "Any requests for enforcement will be assessed using our enforcement criteria and where appropriate, enforcement sites will be established.

"In addition to our site criteria, we will also be working closely with highways authorities to ensure that signage is appropriate, any Traffic Regulation Orders are correct, and that roads are not being considered as part of the 20mph exceptions review."


Assistant Chief Constable Trudi Meyrick, Roads Policing Lead for Wales, added: "Introducing enforcement in new 20mph areas is the next step of our engagement-led approach.

"We have continued to review driver behaviour and the response to the change in default speed limit, whilst engaging with communities across Wales with Operation Ugain.

“Enforcement will be used proportionately and fairly.

"We’ll continue to engage with people across Wales and we’re confident that a proportionate level of enforcement can now be used to keep us moving towards achieving safer roads.”

Enforcement of the new 20mph speed limit on residential road in Wales will begin on Monday (March 18).