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New speed limits in Wales will aim to reduce pollution

From October 4, motorists exceeding the 50mph speed limits on some of the most polluted roads in Wales could receive a fine, the Welsh Government has warned. 

In 2018, Wales became the first country in the UK to limit speed limits in a bid to improve air quality. 

According to the government, the schemes have already been successful in lowering nitrogen dioxide in affected areas by up to 47%. 

Deputy minister for climate change, Lee Waters, said: ‘We’ve made significant progress in bringing emissions levels down in recent years, but we now have to go further and faster.

‘We know that slower speed limits are not a popular choice, but we need to do things differently and be bold if we are to stand a chance of tackling climate change.

‘It’s clear that the speed restrictions we’ve introduced on our most polluted roads are working – the results speak for themselves – but compliance with these limits is essential if we are to achieve the reductions we need to make in the shortest possible time.

‘We need to act now to make Wales a safe place to live with clean air for everyone.’

yellow and black round b signage

Adrian Sutton, CEO of Vortex, the air quality monitoring experts who are based in Wales and have been working with Neath Port Talbot to support these same pollution reduction efforts said: ‘Speed limits can be an inconvenience to the public, but air pollution is a truly silent killer and it is welcome to see the Welsh government are acting to ensure we have clean air for all.

‘By getting a hyper-local view of air quality in real-time, governments are able to identify the places that their environmental interventions, like speed limits, will make the most impact.

‘Further than that, the same air quality monitoring networks will then be able to validate the success of the aforementioned interventions to be able to show the public just how much the air has improved as a result of action. One customer of ours has reduced carbon emissions by 1 tonne a day and improved air quality by 50% for their residents.’

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