Enforcement of the 20mph speed limit will start on more of Wales' roads next week, six months after the new speed limit was initially introduced. GoSafe, which operates speed cameras in Wales, has now confirmed that, from Monday, March 18, the number of roads it will be monitoring will increase and drivers caught speeding on these routes will face the full brunt of the law.

The default speed limit in Wales became 20mph on September 17, 2023, and has been controversial with the largest petition ever signed coming in its wake.

When the speed limit was introduced, GoSafe paused the process of considering new locations for 20mph enforcement on roads which were 30mph prior to the legislation change. It said this was decided to allow the public to get used to the new law, and to collate data to understand any effect the change had on road safety and compliance with the law. Enforcement on routes which were already 20mph prior to the changes continued as normal, after checks that appropriate orders and signs were not affected.

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Last month the results of a Welsh Government monitoring scheme showed that of the almost 10,000 drivers whose speeds were checked, just 272 were found to be exceeding the speed limit. Go Safe has now said that in the two months Operation Ugain was running, the teams monitored nearly 25,000 vehicles. Of these, 97% were not exceeding 25mph. Where speeding drivers did not wish to receive the engagement, they were prosecuted. In January and February, 2024, nine people were prosecuted.

The scheme launched on January 8 means drivers who have been caught exceeding 26mph in areas covered by the 20mph speed limit, are spoken to and shown a presentation, rather than being fined or prosecuted. You can get more story updates straight to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletters here.

Currently, the guidance is that the speed drivers will be stopped at is 26mph, 2mph more than the usual speed the limit will be enforced at. They are spoken to in a nearby public facility, such as a fire station, police station, or library, in a session that lasts around 10 minutes.

Now, six months following the legislation change, enforcement will be considered in all areas where there is evidence of road safety risk. From March 18, the first response will remain as Operation Ugain but now drivers on more roads will face potential prosecution if they speed.

GoSafe said enforcement was used when it was justified and where engagement was not appropriate. The driving agency said it would also be working closely with highways authorities to ensure that signage was appropriate, any Traffic Regulation Orders were correct, and that roads were not being considered as part of the 20mph exceptions review. Want less ads? Download WalesOnline’s Premium app on Apple or Android

Assistant Chief Constable Trudi Meyrick, roads policing lead for Wales said: "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.”