Active travel and personal mobility policy area

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About this policy


Shift travel to more sustainable modes: public transport, walking, and cycling, away from car use.


To provide facilities to encourage many more journeys to be made actively (walking, wheeling, cycling, scootering).

Policy statement

The prioritisation of walking and cycling over less sustainable modes, as in the sustainable travel hierarchy through the delivery of facilities which make active travel (for example on foot, by bicycle, scootering) more convenient, pleasant, and safe. This will enable more active journeys, bringing many transport, health and environmental benefits. Such facilities include an integrated and high-quality network of cycle routes and footpaths across the county, segregated from general traffic wherever possible. Elsewhere roads can be made more people-friendly through better design, giving more space to active travel modes, and lowering speed limits where appropriate. Secure cycle parking, bike hire, and promotion of electric and cargo bikes will also help to increase uptake.

Sustainable travel hierarchy

The sustainable travel hierarchy ranges from walking as the least polluting mode of transport at number one to air travel being the most polluting at number seven:

  1. walking
  2. cycling
  3. e-bikes and cargo bikes
  4. public transport
  5. car clubs, taxis, car sharing
  6. private vehicles, including cars, vans and motorbikes
  7. air travel.

It is based on: Decarbonising Transport: Growing cycle use, Local Government Association, 2020.


New, extended and improved routes

We will provide safe, attractive, high-quality routes, directly serving journeys that people want to make, designed in accordance with the latest design standards and guidance, such as LTN 1/20. In line with our new 'Surrey street family framework' and 'healthy streets framework' (described in Planning for Place), routes will be segregated from other traffic, or on low-speed roads and will be suitable for all abilities.

We will also ensure that all new land use developments and transport developments for other modes build in high quality provision for active and personal mobility options.

For streets that are identified as being important places in the Surrey street family framework (described in Planning for Place), with strong demand for walking, cycling and social interaction (but a need for some through traffic), such as high streets, we will apply our emerging Healthy Streets principles. This will involve limiting car and goods vehicle access and prioritising travel by active and personal mobility options (and public transport) to help balance the use of streets as both places to linger and as corridors of movement.

Supporting facilities

Supporting facilities can make walking and cycling easier, more attractive and more accessible. We will provide supporting facilities in residential areas and at cycle destinations such as shops and hospitals. Supporting facilities will include:

  • Secure parking for bicycles, including ebikes and cargo bikes
  • Charging facilities for ebikes and ecargo bikes
  • Changing facilities
  • Clear signs, markings and wayfinding to make it easier for people to follow routes and identify facilities along routes
  • Benches and other seating facilities to improve the accessibility of walking and cycling routes to a wider range of the population

Measures to encourage change on longer journeys

To maximise the impact of mode shift on traffic levels, we will ensure that active travel and personal mobility options can be used for, or as part of, longer journeys. We will do this by:

  • Providing good access routes to public transport so that the first and last leg in longer journeys that may previously have been completed by car (including journeys to and from train stations) can be made using active or personal mobility options.
  • Integrating the options with Planning for Place measures, promoting Liveable Neighbourhoods and increasing the number of trips occurring within the distance range for active and personal mobility options, replacing previous longer distance trips made by car.
  • Encouraging the use of e-bikes and potentially e-scooters (if they are made legal following the ongoing government trials) to extend the range and routes for which personal mobility options are appropriate. E-bikes are suitable for a wider range of potential users, including by older or less fit users and those travelling in more challenging terrain, and they extend travel ranges by up to 15 to 20 miles.

Measures to increase awareness and safety

We will provide accessible, reliable information on available routes, and incentives and rewards for reaching certain levels of walking and cycling activity.

We will also provide training schemes such as Bikeability for cycling (and potentially scootering) for all age groups to improve safety and awareness.

School streets

We will also support measures to improve the environment around schools for active travel, including establishing 'school streets' which convert roads around school entrances to traffic free pedestrian and cycle zones at drop off and pick up times.

Hire schemes

We will support the development of options for cycle and e-bike hire and potentially e-scooter hire (dependent on current trial outcomes). If possible, they will be integrated with other modes through a Mobility as a Service (MaaS) framework (discussed under the Public and shared transport policy area page).

Cargo bikes

We will encourage the use of e-cargo bikes, in conjunction with the measures described under the Demand Management for Goods Vehicles Policy Area, to reduce the impacts of the last legs of journeys to distribute goods.

Contribution to LTP4 objectives

Net zero carbon emissions: Increasing the number of journeys taken using active transport modes reduces the number of car vehicle kilometres travelled, reducing carbon emissions from transport.

Sustainable growth: Evidence shows that increased active travel levels bring economic benefits to local centres as people tend to stay longer, visit more shops and destinations, and spend more when arriving by active travel modes. Over 80% of business improvement districts agreed that improved walking and cycling facilities attract more visitors to economic centres in a recent survey for Transport for London. It is increasingly recognised that improved active mode provision can support the viability of local high streets.

Well-connected communities: Our measures will support an integrated, high-quality cycle and footpath network in Surrey, connecting communities with opportunities. Access by active travel modes and other personal mobility options to local centres and high streets will be improved. This will increase opportunities for people to access their everyday needs locally using affordable transport and improve social mobility. We will support measures to make bicycle ownership as accessible and affordable as possible to reduce the barrier of lack of access experienced by some members of the community.

Clean air and excellent quality of life: Making journeys using active transport modes improves health and wellbeing whilst reducing the impacts of traffic on communities. This leads to improved air and noise quality and more attractive local environments that support residents to live, work, play, socialise and move within their neighbourhood, enabling thriving communities. Our measures will also enable people to better access green spaces and the countryside, improving quality of life.


We will build on our Woking Cycle Demonstration Town investment, Sustainable Transport Packages, District and Borough Forward Programmes and will use the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) process to identify and prioritise key routes and improvements required to support travel by active and personal mobility options. Our aim will be to provide a safe, attractive, accessible and connected network linking residential areas to key destinations such as high streets and local centres, schools, employment centres, healthcare and public transport stops and stations.

Successful delivery of Active Travel and Personal Mobility will require strong links with other Policy Areas, particularly Planning for Place, Demand Management for Cars, Demand Management for Goods Vehicles and Efficient Network Management.

The introduction of 20 miles per hour zones will play an important role in shifting the balance away from cars and goods vehicles on identified roads and making routes safer and more pleasant for active travel. We intend to make 20 miles per hour the default speed for shopping and residential roads. Relevant roads will be identified in line with the Surrey Street Family categorisation.

Each route will be designed to be safe and accessible to all. Consideration will be given to vulnerable and lone travellers through design features such as lighting, wide accessible footways, natural surveillance and CCTV.

We will also take the opportunity to build green infrastructure such as new tree planting and sustainable drainage systems into any new and improved routes.

How our policies will affect the way you travel

Find out how this policy and our other transport plan policies will affect how you choose to travel:

Policy context


  • Rights of Way Improvement Plan: Active travel for leisure also has an important role and we will continue to develop public rights of way through our Rights of Way Improvement Plan, to provide a vital link between open spaces, urban areas, rural communities and the wider countryside to encourage walking and cycling as well as protecting wildlife and their habitats.
  • Community Vision for 2030: 'Everyone lives healthy, active and fulfilling lives, and makes good choices about their wellbeing';
  • Health and Wellbeing Strategy: the strategy aims to support people to lead healthy lives by preventing physical ill-health and promoting physical wellbeing; support people's mental health and emotional wellbeing by preventing mental ill-health and promoting emotional wellbeing; support people to reach their potential by addressing the wider determinants of ill-health.
  • Surrey Climate Change Strategy: Focuses on 'Shifting' to increased use of active travel modes to enable Surrey to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
  • Local Walking and Cycling Improvement Plans (LCWIPs): Ten-year investment plans for individual localities. LCWIPs are the best practice approach nationally for planning walking and cycling improvements, and our process follows Department for Transport guidance on developing an LCWIP. We are working to have LCWIPs for all areas of Surrey in place by the end of 2022. These LCWIPs will identify where we want to prioritise investment, and some initial options to explore further for what could be undertaken in each location.
  • Vehicular, electric vehicle and cycle parking guidance for new developments: This guidance sets out our standards for electric vehicle, cycle and car parking on new developments in Surrey.
  • Healthy Streets for Surrey: creating streets which are safe and green, beautiful and resilient (this is currently being developed). This is our street design guidance that, once published, will set out our principles for street design in Surrey.


  • LTN 1/20: The Government's cycle infrastructure design guidance, providing guidance to local authorities on delivering high quality cycle infrastructure, including: planning, physical design of routes and facilities, traffic signs and markings, and construction and maintenance. We will follow this guidance for all new developments in our cycle network.
  • Inclusive Mobility: Government's guide to best practice on access to pedestrian transport infrastructure, giving the latest guidance on designing and improving the accessibility and inclusivity of public transport and pedestrian infrastructure to provide good access for disabled people and meet the needs of many other people.
  • Gear Change: Government strategy for cycling, with the ambition that walking and cycling become the natural first choice for local journeys, with half of all journeys in towns being cycled or walked by 2030. Includes ambition for walking and cycling to be at the heart of creating 'better places'.
  • Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans Technical Guidance: Technical guidance produced by the Department for Transport on how to produce Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWPs). This guidance is being followed to develop LCWIPs for Surrey.
  • Manual for streets 1 and Manual for streets 2: Government design guidance for streets that play important roles as places, including provision for pedestrians.

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