Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, August/September 2007

aug-sept07Helen Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland

During Parliament’s summer recess, Helen Goodman MP has been working with local parents to campaign for road safety measures to protect children in a local village in her constituency. She has also joined parents, pupils and teachers to campaign against cuts to Durham County Council’s budget for post-16 school transport, which could encourage more young drivers to take to the road.

Helen has been campaigning with her constituents in Evenwood Gate, Bishop Auckland, who are calling for a 40mph speed limit throughout the village. The current speed limit is 60mph on some roads through the village, which Helen and the village residents consider far too fast. Helen has written to Durham County Council and local police to make them aware of the problem and has urged the council to reduce the limit in order to protect children within the village and prevent crashes.

Helen has also written to the local authority and police to voice her constituents’ concerns about the road outside Cockfield Primary School in Evenwood Gate. After visiting the village to see the road for herself, Helen is throwing her support behind local parents’ demands for a pedestrian crossing outside the school.

Helen is making sure that local media, including the Teesdale Mercury, is following the campaign to improve road safety in Evenwood Gate, of her campaign, and raising awareness about road safety issues. More information on Helen’s campaign to improve safety in Evenwood gate is available on her website.

Helen has also joined parents, pupils and teachers in condemning Durham County Council’s proposed cuts of £300,000 to the local post-16 school transport budget, which could force families to pay up to £100 per pupil per term for local transport.

Helen is concerned that these cuts could encourage greater numbers of young people to learn to drive as soon as they turn 17, putting more of them behind the wheel at the age when they are most likely to crash. She has written a strongly worded letter to the council in opposition of the cuts.

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Road Safety Week 2007 will focus on the safety of children on foot and bicycles. To find our more about the Week, go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk. Any Parliamentarians wanting to get involved in Road Safety Week should call Rachel Burr on 01484 559909 or email rburr@brake.org.uk.

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Brake’s Zak the Zebra hotline collects information about dangerous roads across the UK, like the roads in Evenwood Gate. Brake uses this information to lobby for safer roads - in particular, roads around schools and in residential areas where children are likely to be out and about. Anyone can report a dangerous road and it may be possible for Zak to visit your community to help with a road safety campaign.