Surrey’s roads – new speed limits?



Expected to cover an 80 square mile area to the south of Guildford and Dorking, the council has confirmed its plans to restrict rural speed limits from 60mph (down to as little as 20mph), following the release of a new policy paper named the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).  Released in April, it outlined the value of making a raft of changes to transport policy, including a new national guidance on setting speed limits.

Do not follow SATNAV sign alongside a national speed limit sign in the UK

Surrey County Council’s quickly got on board, and just a few months later has announced a new trial to see if it’s effective. Speaking about the news, Matt Furniss, Surrey County Council cabinet member for transport, infrastructure and economy, said: “Most rural roads in the area are still subject to the national speed limit of 60mph, which is inappropriate for these types of roads. Evidence suggests that implementing lower speed limits should reduce the number and severity of road collisions.” Only time will tell if this leads to further reductions in speed limits on winding rural roads…

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While the intention’s admirable and any effort to reduce collisions is a worthy endeavour, we can’t help but feel that the council’s going about it in the wrong way. Surely there needs to be a level of trust placed with road users, who are evidently capable of judging the correct speed to drive or ride if the conditions or visibility are far from ideal?

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