Cambridge MP wins prestigious award for outstanding contribution to road safety

15 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, has been given a prestigious national award for his successful campaign for widespread 20mph limits in his Cambridge constituency, to make roads safer and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

Julian received the 'Parliamentarian of the Year: Community Campaigner' award at road safety charity Brake's annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group (photo attached).

Julian's campaigning for safer roads for walking and cycling spans back to 2006, when as leader of the Liberal Democrats in Cambridgeshire County Council, he demanded the council reconsider its negative position on 20mph limits in light of Portsmouth's decision to implement widespread 20mph limits. After three years of campaigning, the council agreed to trial 20mph limits in small areas of Cambridge city centre.

In 2010, Julian led a committee of MPs, the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (which he later joined as an MP), on a tour of Cambridge to show them the benefits of 20mph limits for cyclists. Shortly after this, Julian was elected as MP for Cambridge, and once again took up the mantle of campaigning for safer streets. He began calling for widespread 20mph limits across Cambridge, to make the entire city safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

In March 2013, Cambridge City Council announced it will implement 20mph limits on most residential and shopping streets, which will be phased in from January 2014. Read about the Council's plans.

Julian has been a vocal advocate of 20mph limits in the media as well as in Parliament, as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling. The group's Get Britain Cycling report, published in 2013, called for 20mph limits to become the default on urban streets alongside a host of other measures to make streets safer and encourage greater levels of cycling.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Brake believes everyone has the right to walk or cycle safely, without fear from fast traffic, and we know that 20mph limits are a critical step towards this. By speaking out for walking and cycling, successfully campaigning for widespread 20mph limits in Cambridge, and raising awareness in media and Parliament about the benefits, Julian has brought this vision a little closer. We're delighted to be giving Julian recognition for his dedication to making streets safer for people to walk and cycle in Cambridge and the rest of the UK."

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, said: "I am delighted and honoured to have won this award from Brake. We do need to make roads much safer for people to walk and cycle, and 20mph limits will help to do that. I am really pleased that Cambridge City Council has taken such bold steps to make sure this becomes a reality."

Tim Ward, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport, said: "A city-wide 20mph scheme has many potential benefits, including reducing the number of crashes, reducing congestion, and improving people's health as they feel more confident to cycle and to let their children cycle. Large scale 20mph schemes are the most cost-effective way of getting more people to cycle; the total cost of the Cambridge scheme is similar to that of re-designing one major road junction. Local residents have campaigned for years for small 20mph schemes, so I thought it best to meet this and future demand by implementing 20mph limits in residential streets across the whole city, which will work out cheaper than doing a handful of streets at a time."

Read about Brake's GO 20 campaign, calling for 20mph limits to be the norm in our cities, towns and villages.

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

Tags: road safety awards cycling parliamentarian walk pedestrians vulnerable road users