Wales casualty data 'a step in the right direction'


The Welsh Government transport minister has hailed road casualty data since a default 20mph residential speed limit was introduced last September as showing that ‘things are moving in the right direction’.

New road collision statistics show that police in Wales reported a total of 3,262 road collisions in 2023, a decrease of 1.6% compared to 2022 and 24.7% lower than in 2019.

However, the devolved administration highlighted data from the last quarter of the year (October – December) showing that casualties on 20mph and 30mph roads reduced by nearly a third compared to the equivalent quarter in 2022, falling from 681 to 463.

This was the lowest quarterly figure on record outside the Covid pandemic period.

The devolved government’s chief statistician, Stephanie Howarth, warned that collision numbers over the short term tend to be volatile and that longer-term trends give a better indication of patterns and changes.

Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for North Wales and Transport, said: ‘The data published today clearly shows that casualties on 20mph and 30mph roads have reduced since the introduction of 20mph - the lowest on record outside the Covid pandemic period.

‘We’ve still got a way to go, and we expect numbers to fluctuate over the next few years as drivers adjust to the new speed, but it’s encouraging to see that things are moving in the right direction. Every casualty reduced makes a real difference.’

In April, Mr Skates announced a review of the Welsh Government's guidance on the default 20mph speed limit, to be published in July, with councils expected to start detailed consultation on any changes they plan to make from September.

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