'Back my calls for town 20mph limit'

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Could a 20mph speed limit be implemented in the High Street?

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A HASLEMERE man is helping steer plans to roll out 20mph zones across Surrey, including in Haslemere.

Alastair Bayliss, who has lived in Haslemere for eight years, is a volunteer for the 20’s Plenty for Surrey group.

He is hoping Surrey County Council will update its policy on 20mph zones, so towns in the county, such as Haslemere, have the option to implement lower speed limits.

Surrey’s Liberal Democrats group has tabled a motion to update the policy, which is set to be discussed at a county meeting in January.

And Alastair wants residents to contact their councillors with their views before the motion is discussed next month.

He said: "I’ve been working on this myself for quite a few years, which led me to the 20’s Plenty for Surrey group.

"If Haslemere is to get a 20mph zone then Surrey has to update its policy.

"The Surrey Liberal Democrats have proposed a motion to change the policy.

"We’re now trying to get as many local residents as possible to contact their county councillor and encourage them to support the motion.

"The current 20mph policy requires expensive, unpopular, infrastructure such as speed bumps. The money is never available and few schemes ever go ahead.

"Contrast this to Oxfordshire, which has just announced a new policy setting 20mph as the new default instead of 30mph.

"The relevant county councillor, with the support of the parish, decides if they want it. Other counties are following suit, the Liberal Democrat motion is attempting to do the same in Surrey. 20’s Plenty is non-political and we always seek cross-party consensus."

Alastair insists the motion won’t lead to a 20mph zone being forced on Haslemere, as he says residents will be consulted before any decisions are made and implemented.

He added: "This motion is about giving choice to towns and villages in Surrey, it does not impose anything. Each town can choose what it wants to do. Nationally, 20mph achieves 70 per cent support, rising after implementation. Twenty-eight million people in the UK live in areas with or adopting 20mph."

Alastair’s hopes for a reduced 20mph limit in Haslemere come at a time when plans are fast progressing to lower speed limits to 20mph in Farnham and Cranleigh town centres.

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