LATEST preliminary 20mph data showing that speeds have reduced by an average of 4mph on main roads since the national rollout of the default 20mph speed limit are “encouraging”, the Welsh Government has said.

The data, collected by Transport for Wales, monitored millions of vehicles’ speeds in nine different communities across Wales before and after implementation.

Data gathered shows the average speeds on main roads dropped an average of 4mph - from 28.9mph to 24.8mph.

Deputy Minister for Climate Change, with responsibility for transport, Lee Waters said: “The latest data is clear evidence that average speeds are coming down on roads across Wales.

“We also know from data published by Go Safe earlier this month that 97 per cent of drivers are complying with the new slower speed limit - behaviours and attitudes towards 20mph are beginning to change.

“We’ve still got a way to go, but it’s encouraging to see that things are moving in the right direction. Every 1mph reduction in speed makes a real difference – so this is a real turning point.

“The international evidence is clear, lower speeds saves lives – that’s fewer collisions, fewer deaths and fewer severe injuries, reducing the devastation to individuals and their families and the significant impact on the NHS and other emergency services.”

Chief Executive of the road safety charity, Brake, Ross Moorlock added: “It’s encouraging to see how the new 20mph speed limit has reduced the overall speeds of these roads.

“Every day, five people die on UK roads and speed is a factor in every crash.

“The faster we drive, the greater our risk of crashing, and the harder we hit if we do crash.

“We know that road crashes have a devastating impact on families and communities. Sadly, we see this first-hand every day through the work of our National Road Victim Service, which last year supported more than 1,500 families who have been bereaved by a road crash or suffered catastrophic, life-changing injuries.

“We hope that governments and local authorities across the UK will take Wales’ lead and adopt 20mph as the default speed on roads where people and vehicles mix.”