I know, I’m pumped too! This time we’re not going for Net Zero, but Vision Zero. Any idea what this means? Well, this zero is all about aiming for zero casualties on our roads. Surrey County Council is looking at adopting this.

Nationally, on average, six people per day die on our roads. For Haslemere, I suggest you look at the crashmap data (www.crashmap.co.uk). 

Various options can be selected, even one for “child casualty” which I genuinely found hard to select. All return a morbid scattering of tombstone-like markers all around us. Why do we accept this? Well done Surrey for starting this conversation. 

Vision Zero includes many aspects such as street design, vehicle maintenance and training. One strand which grabs attention is a new policy on 20mph limits. This policy would make it easier and cheaper to adopt 20mph. 

Rather than heavy infrastructure where average speeds are higher, it allows simple road sign and visual changes. Evidence gathered over a prolonged period shows wide-area, signed-only schemes do slow traffic and this translates to lower casualties (www.20splenty.org). I support 20mph because I believe it will be safer; produce less noise, carbon dioxide and particulate pollution; encourage more walking and cycling; and will make Haslemere a better place. If this policy passes consultation, Haslemere could get 20mph.

Some are sceptical and here are a few questions as my response. In stop/start urban driving, does frequently accelerating and braking between 20 and 30mph use more fuel than sticking at 20mph? People may drive at 35mph in a 30mph limit but will they drive at 35mph in a 20mph limit? 

In traffic with even just a few people staying at 20mph, are others also kept at lower speeds? Is it mentally possible to get used to driving at 20mph rather than 30mph? If it makes sense for 20mph outside schools, does it make sense on the walking route to that school? Was Usain Bolt unbearably slow at 23.5mph?

Surrey County Council are taking your views at https://visionzerosurrey.commonplace.is/

20mph schemes are successful when the community is involved. Haslemere Active Travel will be at the Charter Fair to discuss.

We have already done presentations to a number of local schools and community organsations. If you want us to talk the issues through with your group, please get in touch by email at [email protected]