BLOG: The power and passion of our ‘20’s Plenty’ 20mph campaign

April 10, 2021 2:14 PM

Angela 20mph graphicRolling out 20mph speed limits in roads where people live, walk, cycle and play have come a long way across the UK. There are many areas that have already adopted it such as Bath & NE Somerset, Cheshire West & Chester, Oxford, Shipley and Whitchurch to name but a few, and the list is growing by the day. No wonder when the evidence as to the difference they can make in terms of road safety, individual's health and the climate.

Conservative-run Surrey has been far slower to act.

Surrey County Council has an 8-step process and an out of date policy that insists on traffic-calming measures being installed (such speed humps and chicanes) to support any 20mph signage. These traffic calming measures are costly and frankly don't make a huge difference in reducing vehicle speed. Many local authorities with 20mph neighbourhoods/zones do not have any traffic calming measures as most drivers adhere to a sensible speed limit. Enforcing traffic speed is also important but this doesn't have to depend on the Police doing the enforcement; if you're driving in a 20mph zone, keep to the speed limit and this will slow down any vehicles behind you. There are also neighbourhood speed watch schemes that are also effective; these are supported by the Police who provide excellent training to anyone interested.

I'm really proud of the fact that the Guildford Liberal Democrats have been fighting for 20mph speed zones across Guildford for over a decade; our passion has not diminished for safer streets, healthier communities and cleaner air.

Looking back, Surrey County Councillor (Guildford South West ) David Goodwin, local residents and the Wodeland Action Group (WAG) successfully campaigned for the first 20mph zone in Guildford that was introduced in and around Wodeland Avenue (with, you guessed it, expensive speed humps). And, 10+ years later, former Guildford Borough Councillor Caroline Reeves convinced Surrey County Council that the success of the 'Guildford College Link+' - to support safer walking and cycling - would be improved with a new 20mph zone in Gardner Road, Markenfield Road, Nettles Terrace, Dapdune Road, Park Road, Drummond Road, George Road, Artillery Terrace, Artillery Road, Stoke Fields, Stoke Grove and Church Road. Disappointingly there wasn't enough money available from the 'Guildford Town Centre Transport Package' to extend this into other nearby roads including Recreation Road. But, local Lib Dem Councillors - including myself - were quickly on the case and the SCC Project Manager is looking for additional funds to incorporate these other roads into this zone.

How 20mph/30kmh limits with public engagement beat physical calming in cost effectiveness

But why #Love20?

My three top reasons are:

  • Low speed saves lives. It's a fact that SPEED KILLS. A child hit by a car at 20mph can survive but if they are hit by a vehicle travelling at 50mph, they will likely die.
  • Low speed limits make walking, cycling or scooting safer and more accessible, which in turn encourages a healthier lifestyle.
  • Low speed limits help our climate. It will be a key to unlocking a virtuous cycle of zero-carbon active travel shifting from car dependence to enabling thriving public transportation, cleaner air and lower CO2 emissions.

How can you help the Guildford Lib Dems expand our '20's Plenty Safer Roads' Campaign?

Towards the end of last year I - along with GBC Councillor Will Salmon and a resident - conducted a survey amongst a few residential roads in the Friary & Nicolas and Onslow Wards to find out if there was any support to introduce a new 20mph neighbourhood zone in the area. The answer was a positive 'yes' - so our next step is to raise a Petition (after the County Council elections on 6 May) for anyone in Guildford Borough who is interested in this initiative to sign.

I hope you'll support the Guildford Lib Dems to #Love20, and make a difference across Guildford Borough. Watch out for more information on this and sign the petition.

Angela (firstname only signature)

Angela Goodwin
Borough Councillor, Friary & St Nicolas Ward

10th April 2021

Want to find out more about #Love20?

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Glasgow approves 20mph speed limit rollout across city roads

Wales committing to #love20 by setting national urban street limit