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20mph Default Speed Limit - Restricted Roads Wales




The Welsh Government passed ' The Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Wales) Order 2022 ' on the 13th February 2022, which came into force on the 17th of September 2023. All Councils in Wales were required to implement this Welsh Government initiative. 

The introduction of this legislation had a major impact on the Authority’s highway network with the majority of our restricted roads being reduced to 20 MPH (by virtue of the presence of street lighting on such roads).

The Council will provide regular updates via this page as the project develops.

What stage are we at?

The Council has substantially implemented the 20mph initiative within Rhondda Cynon Taf and has now entered into the 12-month maintenance period. The Council continues to monitor and correct any defects highlighted on the network as soon as it is practical to do so.

The Council is currently awaiting the revised ‘Place Making’ Criteria / ‘Setting Speed Limits on Local Roads in Wales’ guidance note from the Welsh Government. This when available, will enable the Authority to review requests from the Public which call for the implementation of higher speed limits on roads previously identified by the Welsh Government as automatically defaulting to 20mph.

Until such time that this policy is reviewed and issued by the Welsh Government, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are unable to consider further requests for the implementation of 30mph speed limits on routes that automatically defaulted to 20mph on the 17th September 2023. It should be noted that they were implemented in line with the current Welsh Government 20mph policy.  I have included the current place making criteria for your reference below:


  1. The following ‘Place’ criteria have been developed to guide highway authorities to determine, in a consistent way across Wales, which sections of roads may have significant demands for people walking and cycling:
    1. Within a 100m walk of any educational setting (e.g. primary, secondary, further education and higher education)
    2. Within 100m walk of any community centre
    3. Within 100m walk of any hospital
    4. Where the number of residential and/or retail premises fronting a road exceeds 20 properties per km.
  2. Two Principal Questions, A and B below, should be considered by highway authorities when deciding whether a 30mph exception should be made:
    1. Are there significant numbers (or potential numbers, if speeds were lower) of pedestrians and cyclists travelling along or across the road?
      •  If the answer to A is ‘no’ then an exception for a 30mph speed limit may be appropriate
    2. If the answer to A is ‘yes’, are the pedestrians and cyclists mixing with motor traffic?
      • If the answer to B is ‘no’ then a 30mph speed limit exception may be appropriate



Additional Comments

Hawthorn Terrace and Llanwonno Road


Between Arthur Terrace and Electricity Distribution Site. 20mph infill. Approximately 720m in length. Re-establish the previous 20/30mph gateway.

Cardiff Road


Between the Glyntaff interchange to Mervyn Street. Very few frontages along the entire stretch of road. Approximately 0.8 miles in length.

Hirwaun Road (A4059)


Between Hirwaun roundabout and Golwg Y Mynydd. Goes from 20 to 40mph. Properties are all set back from the carriageway.



Move the speed limit gateway back to its original position. Keep Martin's Terrace at 20mph.

Church Village Bypass

Church Village

20mph roundabouts on the A473 requested to be reviewed and changed to 30mph or National Speed Limit



Most houses set back from the carriageway, review against the exception criteria whether it should revert back to 30mph.



Review the section of road that was previously 50mph, between the property known as Cligferran.

Table 1 – Sections of the Public Highway to be reviewed following the issue of new place making criteria from the Welsh Government

Have your say

Whilst Rhondda Cynon Taf CBC is responsible for facilitating the change to the highway network brought about by the introduction of this new legislation. The overall scheme is being directed and funded by the Welsh Government and therefore any concerns would need to be raised directly with them via: 


However, the Council is now compiling a list of areas / streets where the Public have indicated that the 20mph speed limit is not appropriate and the Council will be seeking additional funding to review these areas, as the cost of reviewing and implementing these changes will far exceed the Council’s Traffic Management budget. Further information will be published on this page following the publication of the revised place making criteria by the Welsh Government to advise on the process going forward.

Should you wish to request that the speed limit on a section of the Public Highway within Rhondda Cynon Taff be reviewed (from the default 20mph limit) you can do so via the Councils website ( or via email:


Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is required to consult on any future proposed changes to the default 20mph speed limit as part of the statutory regulatory process (through the implementation of a Traffic Regulation Order).  However, the Council is unable to review any of the implemented 20mph speed limits until such time that the revised guidance notes / 20mph policy is issued to the Highway Authority. Table 1 above outlines the areas that have granted Welsh Government funding for a review within the 2024/2025 financial year.

The Council will provide further information in respect to any proposed changes (associated with the 20mph initiative) via this webpage.  

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