DATA analysts who studied a road going through Rhyl and Prestatyn to assess the impact of the new 20mph speed limit say the results are "astounding".

Public health analyst Agilysis studied a 85.8km stretch of road going through the two towns as part of the study.

In Rhyl and Prestatyn, it found that the median average speed of the vehicles studied pre-implementation of the new 20mph limit was 23.2mph.

After it came into effect on September 17, the median average speed in the two towns was 19.6mph.

This meant that Rhyl and Prestatyn saw the joint-greatest drop in average speed (3.7mph) across the 10 Welsh areas and 491km of roads studied, tied with Wrexham.

Overall, average speeds dropped by 2.9mph from the week before the new 20mph limit was installed.


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A report based on the study said: "The drop in average speeds should provide incredible safety benefits to pedestrians and cyclists, as well as an expected improvement in air quality to all residents and road users."

The study can be read in full on Agilysis’ website.

Richard Owen, Agilysis chief executive and the report's author, said: "The immediate impact on traffic speeds in Wales has been astonishing, and far greater than many would have predicted.

“Welsh drivers are, on the whole, accepting lower speed limits and have changed their behaviour accordingly.

“There will remain some drivers who choose to break the limit by significant amounts but the drop in speeds on the fastest urban roads has been marked.

"Advances in data science and the increasing number of connected vehicles on our roads have enabled this analysis and research to take place in a matter of days, where previously we may have had to wait weeks or months.

“Road authorities and police forces now have access to new data that enables them to understand general patterns of behaviour, and pinpoint roads where further action may be required."

Elsewhere in Denbighshire, numerous new 20mph speed limit signs in Bodelwyddan have been defaced with graffiti.

The speed limits of most residential roads in Wales were reduced to 20mph on September 17.

From then, most roads in Wales that previously had 30mph speed limits became 20mph, with the First Minister, Mark Drakeford, insistent that it will reduce crashes and save lives.

More than 432,000 signatures have been given to a petition urging Welsh Government to scrap the new 20mph speed limit.