What is changing
Improving your walking experience in Surrey
To encourage more people to choose to walk rather than use a car for short journeys, we will be improving walking routes. The key design features of high quality walking routes include:
- segregated or low speed roads with traffic calming measures to reduce traffic alongside walking routes
- separate routes for pedestrians and cyclists
- widened and high quality footways, including surface quality, width and continuity
- better lighting
- convenient crossing facilities for pedestrians at the most appropriate locations.
Prioritising walking routes
We aim to give greater priority to pedestrians over cars and goods vehicles and this will include making more town centres pedestrian friendly, so that they are safer and more attractive for pedestrians and cyclists. Parking will be rationalised in some town and village centres to locations further outside of centres, where park and ride services will be available. By reducing traffic volumes and speeds and also parking, residential streets will be safer and quieter with well-lit, good quality walking routes and there will be more green spaces and leisure facilities.
Research by organisations such as Transport for London and Living Streets indicates that traffic-free, pedestrianised environments are more attractive to visitors; and that those visiting a place by travel options other than a car, are likely to spend more in a month, as they will visit the place more often and are more likely to make additional unplanned stops whilst passing.
'Vision Zero' approach to road safety
We are currently developing a new Road Safety Strategy for Surrey. This is built upon 'Vision Zero', which follows the principle that it is neither inevitable nor acceptable that anyone should be killed or seriously injured on our roads. The aim is to achieve a highway system with no fatalities or serious injuries involving road traffic. 'Vision Zero' road safety strategies follow the 'Safe Systems' approach, based on:
- safe road use
- safe vehicles
- safe speeds
- safe roads and roadsides, and
- post-crash response.
As part of this approach, we aim to remove hazards on the road network. This will include working towards default 20 miles per hour speed limit schemes in residential and shopping streets. We will look at using average speed cameras to reduce speeds in areas where physical measures are not possible. These measures will make roads safer for all users and more attractive for pedestrians and other active travellers.
Cleaner air and less noise pollution
We aim to improve air quality and reduce noise pollution by significantly decreasing traffic levels but we also plan to tackle these issues by including the following measures in the design of new development schemes:
- features, such as plants, with the capacity to absorb or remove Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) and other pollutants from the air;
- designs that reduce or stop noise or odour impacts and also reduce or mitigate light pollution;
- find solutions to transport carbon emission contributions identified in the Air Quality Action Plans for the locations that the district and borough councils have declared to be 'Air Quality Management Areas (DEFRA)'; these areas are listed on our air quality page.
Our vision is to redesign existing urban, suburban and village areas and to develop new areas, in a way that will enable people to meet the majority of their needs locally, within a short, manageable walk or cycle ride. The number and range of services and opportunities provided locally will be increased, including retail, education, healthcare, jobs and local work hubs (providing high quality remote access to work further afield).
These neighbourhoods will provide
- a strong sense of the local community with a range of services, opportunities and attractions providing reasons to visit and enjoy the town or village centres;
- an attractive environment including green spaces and areas for socialising;
- easy access by sustainable travel options, with safe and attractive routes to and within the town or village centre, particularly for active travel modes, such as walking or cycling;
- reduced dominance of cars and goods vehicles on roads, improving safety and encouraging walking, cycling and meeting people.
Read more about 'Liveable Neighbourhoods'.
Changes you can make
Walking and cycling are the most healthy and environmentally-friendly ways of getting around. They will improve your overall health and wellbeing, so instead of getting in your car to pop down to the shops or to take your child to school or run any local errands, make walking or cycling your preferred way to get around. Making healthier choices will reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions in your local area, helping improve air quality, noise quality, safety and the local environment.
Timetable for change and measuring success
Timetable for change
We will add schemes to our timetable below as they are agreed and implemented.
What we are doing now
We are currently developing our Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans for each borough and district of Surrey with our partners, including the local councils. These plans set out the changes we will be making in your area over the next five years.
2022 to 2032
We will continue to make improvements to town centres and surrounding areas to improve the walking experience as we put our Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans into action. The pedestrian phase at traffic lights will gradually be given more priority and as traffic and parking are reduced, streets will become cleaner and safer. Our plans also aim to reduce traffic in areas away from main roads, protecting neighbourhood streets and country lanes that are currently used as shortcuts, making walking everywhere better for everyone.
2032 to 2050
We will build upon the changes made through our Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans and, as carbon emissions continually fall, the benefits to pedestrians will be experienced across Surrey. We will see an increase in 'Liveable Neighbourhoods' and all new developments and planning will be encouraged to make walking and cycling a priority to ensure that high quality paths and facilities are provided.
We will measure the success of increased walking levels by closely monitoring the Government's walking and cycling statistics.
We will measure the success of rebalancing the use of local streets to favour people rather than vehicles by calculating:
- the length of streets which are partially or fully pedestrianised, or in 'Liveable Neighbourhoods'.
- the length of 20 miles per hour roads and 'Liveable Neighbourhoods'.
We will continue to measure air quality and local health improvements through:
- reduced Nitrogen Oxides (NOX) and particulate matter emissions (PM10);
- total number of Air Quality Management Areas;
- number of Air Quality Management Areas declared;
- number of Air Quality Management Areas revoked (meaning the air quality has improved);
- number residents living within Air Quality Management Areas;
- traffic counts by vehicle type in Air Quality Management Areas.
- Air quality strategy
- LED street lighting
- Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans
- About Air Pollution - Defra, UK
- Walking and cycling statistics, England: 2019 (GOV.UK)
- Planning for Place
- Digital connectivity
- Active travel and personal mobility
- Public and shared transport
- Demand management for cars
- Demand management for goods vehicles
- Efficient network management
- Promoting Zero Emissions Vehicles (ZEVs)
- Supporting behaviour change
- Protecting the environment in our transport plan policies