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Conservatives reject call by Liberal Democrats for safer roads

December 13, 2012 10:26 AM
Originally published by Surrey County Council Lib Dems

Surrey County Council's Conservative-run administration have rejected a call by the Liberal Democrats for the County's speed limits policy to be changed to make it easier for 20mph zones to be introduced where evidence says they are required and they are supported by local residents.

Liberal Democrat Environment and Transportation spokesperson Councillor Stephen Cooksey (Dorking and the Holmwoods) said: "In May 2006 Surrey County Council unanimously approved a motion on 20mph speed limits initially proposed by Liberal Democrat County Councillor David Goodwin. That motion said that where appropriate the Council should consider reducing speeds in urban and rural areas through measures such as creating 20 mph zones and called on the Council to produce a report on the effectiveness of the introduced 20 mph zones with recommendations for any future development of road safety policy.

"In the six years since that motion was passed, and only three 20mph schemes have been implemented in the whole of Surrey.

"Evidence has shown that reducing the normal residential speed limit from 30mph to 20mph would make roads much safer, that 20mph speed limits decrease child pedestrian accidents by 70% and that half of the people hit by a car at 30mph will die whilst only 10% of people hit by a car at 20 mph will die.

"Whilst neighbouring councils such as West Sussex and Kingston have successfully introduced 20mph zones, Surrey's Conservative administration has failed to make progress.

"I hoped that Surrey's Conservatives would join with me and my Liberal Democrat colleagues in wishing to improve road safety by introducing 20mph speed limits where evidence says they are required and they are supported by local residents. I am sorry that the Conservatives do not think that the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders on Surrey's highways is an important priority."


The following motion was moved at the Full Council of Surrey County Council on Tuesday 11 December. All Liberal Democrat councillors present voted for the motion, all Conservative councillors voted against the motion:
Proposer: Stephen Cooksey
Seconder: Will Forster

This Council notes that:
i) reducing speed limits on roads where appropriate reduces the number and severity of road traffic accidents
ii) only three 20mph speed limit schemes have been implemented in Surrey since May 2006
Council requests the Cabinet to amend the Council's speed limit policy to make it easier for local committees to introduce 20mph limits, using terminal and repeater signs (rather than physical traffic calming measures), where evidence says they are required and they are supported by local residents.