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

Public health analyst Agilysis studied a 21.9km stretch of road going through the town as part of the study.

In Newtown, it found that the median average speed of the vehicles studied pre-implementation of the new 20mph limit was 21.2mph.

After it came into effect on September 17, the median average speed in the town was 18.6mph.

This meant that Newtown saw a drop in average speed of 2.6mph between the two study periods. Across the 10 Welsh areas and 491km of roads studied, the average fall in speed was 2.9mph.

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."

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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.

READ MORE: Wales 20mph map: streets in Powys changing to 20mph

“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."

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.