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Campaigners Say 20mph Is Fast Enough On Guildford’s Residential Roads

Published on: 12 Dec, 2013
Updated on: 12 Dec, 2013
Elizabeth Loch and Cllr Tony Phillips at Millmead council chamber to present a petition for a 20mph limit in Onslow Village.

Elizabeth Loch and Cllr Tony Phillips at Millmead council chamber to present a petition for a 20mph limit in Onslow Village.

Campaigners from Onslow Village who are demanding 20mph speed limits for all residential roads throughout Guildford presented a petition at a meeting held at Millmead on Wednesday, December 11.

The petition, containing 400 signatures of Onslow Village residents, was presented at the latest Local Committee meeting comprised of Guildford borough and Surrey county councillors.

The activists have launched a campaign in Onslow Village. They claim that lower speeds bring 22% fewer casualties and major quality of life improvements for all.

Onslow Village resident Elizabeth Loch contacted the national pressure group 20’s Plenty for Us in November with concerns about inappropriately high speeds vehicle were being driven at in Onslow Village.

The owner of Onslow Village tea room Molly’s, Sophie Still, said: “Many of my customers frequently mention the ‘crazy speeds’ at which vehicles are driven along Wilderness Road and Queen Eleanor’s Road, and the risks of children, or adults, being run over by cars using the road as a ‘rat’ run.”

The Onslow Village group of the the national 20's Plenty for Us is calling for speed limits of 20mph on Guildford's residential roads.

The Onslow Village group of the the national 20’s Plenty for Us is calling for speed limits of 20mph on Guildford’s residential roads.

During the committee meeting John Hilder, highway manager at Surrey County Council said: “The police say that 20 mph limits are unenforceable.”

But in her address Elizabeth Loch said that the proposal had overwhelming support of Onslow Village residents. Addressing the councillors she claimed that it was a real and inexpensive vote winner. Highlighting the threat of speeding vehicles she reminded the meeting that: “When by a  car travelling at  30 mph a child is seven times  more likely to die than when hit by a car travelling at 20mph.”

Cllr Tony Phillips (Lib Dem, Onslow) “There are two schools in the area, both planning to take an increasing number of pupils. We have experienced an increase in traffic cutting through from the Farnham Road and the A3 and we have had a number of incidents involving motor vehicles. In one, a vehicle rolled over and landed in a resident’s garden causing severe injury to the householder.

“We fear that unless we introduce a 20mph limit to slow down the traffic it is only going to be a matter of time before a pedestrian, an adult or a child, is severely injured or killed.’

The group, 20’s Plenty for Us, states that 20mph limits for all residential roads in a local authority is a single change that makes a huge difference.

It claims that two years after 94% of Portsmouth’s roads went 20mph there were 22% fewer casualties, including 23% fewer drivers and 50% fewer elderly drivers.

It adds that a 20mph speed limit is seven times safer than a 30mph limit, as thinking times increase and stopping distances reduce meaning that collisions are either avoided or that the crash impact is less.

20sPlentyLogoAnd it claims that: “Limits of 20mph are environmental and save drivers and society money,” adding: “Pilot schemes for 20mph speed limits in Warrington were estimated to give an 800% rate of return from casualties avoided.

“A smoother driving style with less braking and acceleration means that 12% less fuel is used. A 20mph speed limit reduces pollution and climate change gas emissions. Plus some car trips transfer to walking, cycling or public transport, further cutting congestion. People moving by their own power brings massive savings to society from more active lifestyles. Parents are freed from some time consuming escort trips and children gain independent skills.

“Speed limits of 20mph cost from £2 per person or £1,400 per km when done area-wide as a “Total 20” scheme. Some roads can be exempted where merited.  More than eight million people live in places like Oxford, Bristol, Islington, Newcastle, Warrington and Lancashire who are committed to 20mph residential limits. Local politicians decide local road speeds. Onslow Village’s 20’s Plenty aims to convince decision makers that 20mph limits make sense.”

For more details of 20’s Plenty for Onslow, send an email to or telephone Elizabeth Loch on 07932613062.

The website for 20’s Plenty for Us is at

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Responses to Campaigners Say 20mph Is Fast Enough On Guildford’s Residential Roads

  1. Sean Jenkinson Reply

    December 12, 2013 at 8:22 am

    I’m sorry to say, but it does not work. Bellfields has a 20mph speed limit with speed bumps – but buses, lorries, vans and most cars still drive around it at speed.
    In my view, the bin lorries and skip lorries are the worst for it. They appear to use Larch Avenue like a rat run at speed.
    Making roads 20mph seems like a good thing if it can be policed, but there just does not seem to be enough police to do that job in Guildford.
    All I can say is good luck, as I know what you mean. The roads around Onslow Village and Guildford do have far too many speeders on them, but speed limits and speed bumps seem to do little to stop them.

  2. Bibhas Neogi Reply

    December 12, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    There are other measures that could be implemented like chicanes and narrowing of roads with priority for one direction over the other (depending on other factors such as forward sight line, junctions, parking bays etc.)

    Green Lane in Farncombe is an example with combination of 20mph limit and narrowing of the road on ramps in front of the school.

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    December 13, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    I agree with Bibhas Neogi.

    I signed the petition as I have every sympathy with those affected but in central Guildford the enforcement of any speed limit seems impossible.

    Perhaps chicanes and other measures Mr Neogi he has mentioned should be tried.

    The basic problem is that there is too much through traffic using our residential roads as “rat runs”.

    Perhaps another solution would be to close them as through roads and make them ‘Access Only’.

    This would help to preserve some quality of life for our people here in Guildford.

  4. Sean Jenkinson Reply

    December 15, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Making roads ‘Access Only’ might make things better for people living on those roads but will only make the traffic in and around the rest of Guildford worse.

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