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Lib Dems call for implementation of 'signs only' 20mph zones

January 6, 2022 12:58 PM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Lance Spencer next to Horsell Village and 20 mph signSurrey Lib Dems are challenging Surrey County Council to roll out a bigger and bolder programme of schemes to implement 20 mph zones using signs only, in a bid to facilitate better conditions for walking and cycling and improve road safety.

The Lib Dems group is bringing a motion to the Council meeting on 18 January 2022. It will press the Council to follow many other highways authorities such as Lancashire, Cambridgeshire and Oxfordshire to radically change their approach to the introduction of 20 mph speed limits in areas where it is currently 30mph. This would affect all roads in Surrey with a 30 mph limit unless there is a good reason to leave the speed limit at 30 mph, and would include roads outside schools, residential areas and busy pedestrian streets.

Cllr Lance Spencer (Goldsworth East and Horsell Village), the Group's spokesperson on climate change, who will be proposing the motion said: "Liberal Democrats have long called for 20mph to be the default speed limit in all residential areas and town centres, unless there is an overriding reason for a higher limit and provided there is support from the local community. Surrey County Council talks a lot about promoting active travel in the Local Transport Plan as a key part of reducing carbon emissions in Surrey, encouraging people to leave their cars at home, but it needs to do more to provide the right conditions for people to have confidence in walking and cycling safely. 46% of carbon emissions in Surrey come from transport, primarily cars, and we need to have an open and honest discussion in our communities about what changes to our behaviour we are willing to make to ensure we can have a real impact on carbon emissions."

Angela Goodwin (Guildford South West) who will second the motion is keen to highlight how 20 mph zones would impact on people's mental and physical health. "The health and environmental benefits of 20 mph zones are widely recognised, but we won't get the step-change we need unless the Council implements broader measures to slow traffic down in residential and busy pedestrian streets and outside schools. Our motion at the January full council meeting sets out the Lib Dem proposals for doing just that and we would urge the Council to be bold in taking up our plans for simpler and less expensive schemes in areas where there is community support for the change."

Alastair Bayliss, Steering Group Member for campaign group; 20s Plenty for Surrey, expressed his support for the motion. "Surrey really needs a policy that allows communities to adopt 20mph limits in a cost-effective way and without having to wait many years. We urge all councillors to support this proposal regardless of their political affiliation".