Highways

We need safe, well maintained, efficient highways with no congestion. To get this we need to clear about two aspects of highways:

  • When is a highway a street or a road? and,
  • Who is responsible for our streets and who is responsible for our roads.

Streets are for living on. They are where we play, shop and generally mingle with other people.  Rural lanes are included in this category too.  You will know that you are on one because there are no white road markings.  I my view they should have a speed limit of 20mph.  Streets go no-where -in the sense that all the rat-run and duck-shoves are blocked up.  There will will be no cycle lanes but the design of the street is such that drivers will be travelling slowly.  Streets have few signs.  Streets have names.

Roads are part of the transport network.  They are for getting from one place to another. They should have cycleways, as necessary, separate from the road but generally they are for motorized traffic only.  Roads have white road marking and many signs.  They are design for high speed – at least an average of 50mph.  Motorways are a good example.

The most main level of road is the European highway or E route.  Elmbridge does not have any designated E routes (although the M25 and A3 should be candidates).  The next level are national strategic routes the M25 and A3 fall into this category.  Duel carriageways with grade separated junctions.  The next level down is the non-strategic national routes which links market towns and similar.

Streets – their design, construction and maintenance should in my view be the responsibility of the parish (currently the county).

Roads – their design, construction and maintenance is the responsible of the county.  E and strategic A routes are the responsibly of the national administration.

How are they paid for?  Well currently through general taxation but this is mired in opaque underfunding.  Instead the highways should be paid for by road user charging instead of the fuel duty.  If you drive down a road (or street) you pay the provider directly. The technology is reliable, cheap, secure (no need fro snooping) and has been around for years.  If this policy was introduced pot holes would be a thing of the past on Surrey roads.