Drivers issued urgent sat nav warning before rollout of new 20mph speed limits

A 20mph sign

The changes will be rolled out on September 17

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 15/09/2023

- 10:25

The new changes could save the NHS in Wales more than £90million

Motorists are being urged not to rely on their sat navs for the speed limit when driving on Welsh roads after this weekend.

On Sunday, September 17, the Welsh Government will be rolling out new average speed limits from 30mph to 20mph.

The new speed limits will apply to restricted roads which tend to be in residential areas and with lampposts every 200 yards or so.

The RAC said motorists should “pay full attention” to road signs rather than electronic devices once the change has been rolled out.

A 20mph sign

The planned changes have been met with mixed responses from drivers


First Minister Mark Drakeford has refused to back down with the law changes despite criticism from politicians and drivers.

He has estimated that the speed limit changes will save the NHS in Wales around £92million with fewer injuries and road fatalities.

Councils will have the discretion to make any exceptions to the 20mph speed limit changes.

Simon Williams, RAC head of policy, issued a warning to drivers to pay attention to the road and not rely on sat navs or apps.

He said: It’s vitally important that drivers are fully aware of the arrival of the 20mph limit in Wales, and pay full attention to all road signage.

“And, until sat nav systems have been fully updated, they shouldn’t rely on them to know what the speed limit is on any particular stretch of Welsh road.

“Even if compliance with new 20mph limits is poor, it should lead to an overall reduction in speeds which will have a positive effect on road safety.”

He added that “more effective to target areas where they are most needed” including residential roads or in areas where pedestrian footfall is higher.

Penny Mordaunt, Leader of the House of Commons, has slammed the new default speed limits, calling the scheme “crazy”.

The Welsh Conservatives have also attacked the changes, estimating that the rollout would lead to longer journey times, potentially costing the economy up to £8.9billion.

There have been reports of new 20mph speed limit signs being defaced in areas including Conwy, Newport, Wrexham and Flintshire.

This comes as more drivers are taking action against “anti-motorist” schemes including the Ulez expansion.


A 30mph sign

Councils can make some roads exempt from the changes


Motorists have been cutting and defacing cameras and even spraying over the camera of mobile speed camera vans.

You may like