At the County Council meeting in March this year Will Forster, Leader of Surrey Lib Dems proposed a council motion based on the respected road safety principles, known as Vision Zero.
In response, county council officers last week set out the draft Surrey RoadSafe Partnership Vision Zero Road Safety Strategy to the Communities, Environment and Highways Select Committee. The ambition is to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSI) on Surrey’s roads by 50% by 2035 and to zero by 2050. If approved by Cabinet later this month, it will go out to public consultation in the new year.
Surrey’s collision statistics remain stubbornly high, and in recent years, within its borders there have been between 24 to 36 fatal collisions per year. In financial terms the estimated value of preventing these fatal collisions would be between £50million to £76million, and there would be further substantial savings from reductions in serious and slight injury collisions too.
The county also has one of the highest rates of casualties amongst pedestrians and cyclists, a large percentage of which occur on roads with a 30mph speed limit. In a bid to address this the updated strategy also sets out a new speed policy, that will allow for a more flexible approach to implementing 20mph speed limits in areas where the move has public support, for example around schools.
Will Forster said: “I first presented my motion on Vision Zero to the Council back in March this year, so I am pleased that Members have finally had the opportunity to discuss it. I very much welcome this new strategy and hope that the proposed measures will receive the funding necessary to implement them fully, and that in turn they will then be sufficient to achieve the aims of Vision Zero.
“I am glad that my motion has helped push the County Council into taking this action to address Surrey’s poor road safety record. Casualty rates in Surrey have remained stubbornly high for too long, and while it’s worthwhile taking account of the substantial amount of money that could be saved to the economy, of course the biggest savings will be in terms of the human cost.”