The signage for Farnham’s new town centre and Weydon Lane 20mph zones was due to be completed on Monday this week.
These are designed not only to reduce accidents by giving even good drivers more time to react to poor decisions by other road users, but also to decrease air pollution levels.
Dave Hoppe is the owner of Unit24 fitness centre, which is the largest independently-owned gym in the area. He’s obviously an extremely fit person and yet even he has been affected by air pollution.
When he lived at Elevetham Heath, next to the M3, he was diagnosed with the lung condition COPD and also suffered from asthma.
However, he moved house to Aldershot and away from the motorway and miraculously the COPD cleared up!
Air pollution is responsible for about six per cent of all deaths in Surrey.
It is a myth that cars are more fuel efficient in 30mph zones than 20mph zones. Cars in 30mph zones rarely reach the speed limit as most urban roads are cluttered with traffic lights, roundabouts and sharp bends and cars spend most of their time just accelerating or decelerating.
In 20mph zones, cars quickly reach the speed limit and then the driver takes their foot off the gas pedal, also saving money.
Braking is also a significant source of the most damaging pollution type, PM2.5 particles, and this is also reduced significantly in 20mph zones.
Incidentally, electric cars produce more PM2.5 pollution from brakes and tyres than the tailpipe emissions of modern diesel cars, so less accelerating and braking helps everyone.
Another huge benefit of the new 20mph zone will be the increased levels of safety that people on bikes will experience.
And every person who leaves a car at home to enjoy parking their bikes on the town centre railings for free, and not getting stuck in traffic, will further increase the air quality across the town.
Not to mention spending more money in shops (Economic Benefits of Cycling, University of Birmingham) and getting low-impact exercise. Of course, gentle urban cycling without lycra won’t build up muscle bulk – for that you would need to contact Dave Hoppe’s excellent gym, which is located away from the M3.