I write as a director of Haslemere Active Travel CIC (HATCIC) and in response to Mick Bradford’s letter headed Think Again on October 5.

In this letter, Mr Bradford takes exception to the backing given by the town council to the proposal to introduce a 20mph speed limit in Haslemere. 

He reports the town council have agreed to write to Surrey County Council for funding and assistance to implement this scheme ‘as a matter of urgency’.

Mr Bradford goes on to list a series of reasons why he objects to a 20mph speed limit including new signage, cameras and enforcement measures, expressing doubt about the safety benefits and the credibility of arguments that a lower speed limit would result in lower exhaust emissions.

HATCIC strongly supports the proposal for a 20mph speed limit across Haslemere, noting that if Surrey County Council’s draft new policy on 20mph limits is adopted, this limit could be imposed with minimal new infrastructure, principally replacing existing 30mph signs with 20mph signs.

Put simply, we believe the safety arguments are utterly compelling, journey times would be little changed and, most importantly, a lower speed limit would make Haslemere a more pleasant place in which to live, work and move about, on foot, bicycle and by car or van. 

In the past, Surrey police have objected to 20mph limits on the grounds they do not have the resources to police them, but in practice no additional policing would be required and extensive research confirms that, while full compliance will not occur, the average speed of traffic will decrease.

Mr Bradford suggests a well-advertised public meeting should be conducted before a 20mph limit is imposed on residents. 

With this proposal, HATIC are entirely in agreement. 

Evidence from elsewhere indicates that where traffic restrictions are imposed without proper consultation, it results in resentment and lower levels of compliance. 

Our own experience is that when these matters are discussed, while not everybody agrees with the lower limit, many people do change their views.

I include myself in this category.

Chris Harrison

On behalf of the board of Haslemere Active Travel CIC