AVERAGE speeds have fallen by just 2.4 miles per hour since the 20mph default limit came into effect in Wales.

The findings, which come from TomTom data at nearly 8,000 locations, put the Welsh average at 20.3mph, down from 22.7mph before September last year.

A petition to “rescind and remove” the 20mph law has garnered more than 468,000 signatures to date and both candidates to succeed Mark Drakeford as first minister in March - Vaughan Gething and Jeremy Miles - have promised to launch a review of the policy's implementation.

The Welsh Government has welcomed the data published by software company Agilysis as “encouraging signs of continuing compliance”.

‘Get Wales moving’

In Newport, average speeds (20.3mph) are now in line with the Welsh average, having previously been 0.1mph higher at 22.8mph.

The results elsewhere are varied, with a reduction of 3.2mph in Bangor and just 1.3mph in Merthyr Tydfil.

In Cardiff, average speeds have fallen from 22.6mph – 0.1mph slower than the national average – to 20.3mph, which is, like Newport, in line with the new mean.

Responding to the numbers, Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies said the 20mph default limit had been a costly and “confusing” change.

He added: “It’s time to abandon this confusing, unpopular policy and get Wales moving again.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “These are encouraging signs of continuing compliance with the 20mph speed limit from data produced independently of the Welsh Government.

Responding to the Welsh Conservative leader’s claims that 20mph could cost the Welsh economy billions, they said: “Academic debate has exposed uncertainty about the value that should be attached to small time saving, some have argued that in such circumstances the value could be very low or even zero.”