Wales became the first nation in the UK to lower the default speed limit on residential roads to 20mph earlier this month and England, Scotland and Ireland could soon follow suit.

That's according to Warrington man Rod King who is said to be responsible for the 20mph movement across the UK.

Mr King, 73, is the founder of 20’s Plenty for Us, a grassroots campaign group with 692 branches across the UK, working to bring the speed limit in built-up areas down to 20mph, The Times reported.

He said it was an "inevitability" that the other UK nations would follow Wales in the coming years and reduce the default national speed limit to 20mph

Speaking to The Times, he said: "By 2025 you are going to look at the British Isles and you are going to say: Wales is 20mph, Scotland is 20mph, half of England is 20mph, all of Ireland is 20mph.

"This is a matter of time. It is an inevitability.”

Why was the 20mph speed limit introduced?

The Welsh Government, on its website, outlines five main reasons for the reduction in the national speed limit on residential roads from 30mph to 20mph:

  • To reduce the number of collisions and severe injuries from them (also reducing the impact on the NHS from treating the people who are injured);
  • Encourage more people to walk and cycle in our communities;
  • Help to improve our health and well-being;
  • Make our streets safer;
  • Safeguard the environment for future generations.

Is the 20mph speed limit coming into force across the UK?

With Wales lowering its national speed limit, will the same be happening in England, Scotland and Ireland? 

Currently, almost half — 61 out of 133 — of highway authorities in England have adopted the 20mph speed limit in built-up areas, according to The Times

Transport for London has also introduced a new 20mph speed limit on a number of its roads in 2023.

Scotland has committed to a national strategy which aims to expand 20mph speed limits across the country and "ensure all appropriate roads in built-up areas have a safer speed limit of 20mph by 2025". 

While in Ireland, according to The Times, they have declared intentions to lower the speed limit to 30km/h (19mph).

The lowering of the national speed limit on residential roads in Wales has caused controversy since its introduction with a Senedd petition against the change having received more than 430,000 signatures.