Speed limit of 20mph across Wales could save £100m by cutting number of car crashes, research suggests
- The speed limit in Wales for residential areas will be 20mph from September
- Edinburgh Napier University found the scheme will save 100 lives in a decade
- But opposers to the Labour scheme say it will cause congestion and confusion
A controversial 20mph speed limit for roads in Wales could save £100million a year as a result of reduced deaths and injuries, researchers have estimated.
The legislation will set the default speed limit for residential roads and built-up areas at 20mph from next September, but local authorities can keep certain roads at 30mph.
Research from the Transport Research Institute at Edinburgh Napier University found the scheme will save nearly 100 lives over a decade.
It says the direct costs of introducing a ban will be £32million, but the savings in the first year alone will be three times this because less will be spent on dealing with the aftermath of accidents.
A controversial 20mph speed limit for roads in Wales could save £100million a year as a result of reduced deaths and injuries, researchers have estimated (file image)
The report adds: ‘Evidence suggests that the health benefits of 20mph are far, far greater than casualty savings alone.
‘They include increased physical activity, and therefore less obesity, less stress and less anxiety, as well as other health benefits such as reduced noise and air pollution.’
But 45,000 people have signed a petition against the Labour-led government’s scheme, saying it will cause congestion, confusion and be unenforceable.
The Welsh Conservatives have branded it unworkable.
But 45,000 people have signed a petition against the Labour-led government’s scheme, saying it will cause congestion, confusion and be unenforceable (First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford is pictured on September 26 at the Labour Party conference)
Natasha Asghar, the Welsh Conservative shadow transport minister, said: ‘Labour ministers need to stop imposing dogmatic and restrictive measures on road users in Wales and focus on making sure Wales has a public transport system fit for the 21st century.’
Lee Waters, the deputy minister for climate change, said: ‘The evidence from around the world is very clear – reducing speed limits reduces collisions and saves lives.
‘Slower speeds also create a safer and more welcoming environment, giving people the confidence to walk and cycle more, which will help to improve our health and wellbeing and help to improve the environment.
‘As with any change, we know it will take time for people to adapt.’
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