Drivers in Wales slapped with £1.3million in fines for breaking 'ridiculous' 20mph speed limit rules

20mph road sign

Estimates suggest almost £1.3million worth of fines have been handed out

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 09/07/2024

- 11:28

One Conservative MS said it was 'astounding' that motorists were being punished for driving from A to B

Welsh drivers have been fined more than £1.28million for speeding on 20mph roads across the nation as politicians slam the money-grabbing scheme.

According to new data from GoSafe, the Welsh road casualty reduction partnership, a total of 6,603 people committed a speeding offence on the 20mph roads.

The statistics, which are based on data from Mid and South Wales, as well as North Wales, found that thousands of people were still flouting the rules every month.

Offence numbers from June were the highest since enforcement of the scheme began, with 5,711 drivers breaking the rules in Mid and South Wales, while 892 motorists were caught in North Wales.

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A 20mph sign

The blanket speed limits were first introduced in September last year


Wales Online reported that fines from the scheme had exceeded £1.28million, with drivers being slapped with a £100 fine and three penalty points if they are found to be speeding.

The average offence speed in Mid and South Wales has fluctuated massively, ranging from 27.9mph to 30.4mph, with June seeing an average speed of 28.1mph, more than eight miles per hour faster than the designated speed limit.

A more worrying picture is painted in North Wales, however, with offences reaching 32.4mph in June, having surpassed the 31mph benchmark in April.

Shockingly, the highest offence speed clocked by police officers and road safety partners was 80mph in Mid and South Wales, with one driver in North Wales speeding through a 20mph zone at four times the speed limit (82mph).

Natasha Asghar MS, Shadow Transport Minister, responded to the new data, slamming the Welsh Labour Party for targeting drivers when the scheme has already been deemed a failure.

She said: “The damage to our economy and to people’s livelihoods should not be underplayed and the Welsh people have soundly rejected the 20mph speed limit.

“With astounding sums of money generated through fines being issued, there appears to still be confusion surrounding 20mph speed limits due to Labour’s terrible awareness campaign and their poor rollout.

“The Welsh Conservatives would scrap this ridiculous policy which punishes people for trying to get from A to B.”

The 20mph speed limit roads were first rolled out in September last year, with the Welsh Government spending around £34million on the scheme to improve road safety and reduce the number of accidents.

Slower speed limits would have applied to restricted roads, which are located around the country and are usually residential roads.

The Welsh Government admitted earlier this year that the rollout had not gone to plan and would be engaging with drivers around the country to overhaul the scheme and only implement the speed limits in areas which really needed them.

Suggestions for the new rules have included implementing them near schools, nurseries, hospitals and residential care homes.


20mph sign

The 20mph speed limits have been met with fury from Welsh drivers


GoSafe, alongside Welsh Fire and Rescue Services, are continuing to engage with motorists on the roadside to inform them of the rule changes under "Operation Ugain".

While the public gets used to the speed limit changes, Chief Police Officers have allowed GoSafe to increase the enforcement threshold to 10 per cent plus 4mph, meaning prosecutions will start at 26mph in a 20mph limit.

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