Stretford and Urmston MP Kate Green has won a national Parliamentarian of the Month Award from road safety charity Brake and Direct Line for her campaign for a crossing and 20mph limits. The campaign is in memory of local campaigner Hilda Laffey, who was killed by a car while crossing the road near her home.
Hilda Laffey, 81, campaigned tirelessly for a pelican crossing on Moorside Road, Urmston, a road known for heavy traffic and which passes Trafford Central Hospital. Hilda launched her campaign after a series of crashes on the road, including a hit-and-run which left her neighbor Sam Riley with serious head injuries. Tragically, this was the road where Hilda was knocked down and killed while walking her dog on 3 August 2011.
Now Kate Green MP, who became friends with Hilda through her campaigning, has pledged to continue her fight for road safety in the constituency. Kate has called for immediate action from the council following Hilda's death. She demanded a crossing and 20mph speed limit on the road. She is also calling for 20mph limits on all residential roads in the area, in memory of Hilda.
The council has responded saying they will consider her request, and are researching the potential benefits of reducing speed limits on residential roads throughout Trafford.
Brake campaigns nationally for 20mph speed limits in communities. Brake wants the urban default limit lowered to 20mph, in line with evidence that this lower limit cuts casualties and creates a safer environment for people on foot and bicycle. In the meantime, Brake urges more local authorities to implement widespread 20mph limits – to enable local people to walk and cycle without fear, and to prevent deaths and injuries that devastate families and are a costly drain on health and emergency services. Read about Brake's national campaign.
Slowing down to 20mph in communities is a life-saving act. At this speed your stopping distance is about three car lengths – half that of 30mph – so you have a good chance of stopping in time in an emergency, such as if a child suddenly runs out. 20mph limits are shown to be highly effective in preventing deaths and injuries, particularly among children and adults on foot. Analysis of 20mph limits in London found they reduced casualties by 42%.
Kate Green is calling on residents to sign up to the campaign for 20mph limits by logging on to www.trafford20.org.uk and signing the petition to show their support for a reduction in speed, and make a positive step to make their community safer.
Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: "Kate's campaign in memory of Hilda Laffey is commendable. She's fighting for an incredibly important measure that is evidenced to make a huge difference to communities. 20mph limits are shown to be highly effective in preventing needless tragedies and creating a safer environment for people on foot and bicycle. There is widespread public support for them, and they tend to pay for themselves over time by preventing devastating and costly casualties. Brake continues to urge more local authorities to roll out 20mph as the norm in built-up areas, to support communities campaigning for this, and to press the Government for change at national level. We're also working to convince drivers that slowing down to 20mph in communities is a life-saving act."
Kate Green, MP said: 'I'm delighted to win this award. I'd like to dedicate it to my friend and constituent Hilda Laffey, who was killed in a road crash last month, and who campaigned hard for better road safety. It was a privilege to have known Hilda and my tribute to her memory will be to carry on campaigning for all she believed in.'
Communities worried about road safety problems can access advice and support on campaigning for safer roads by reporting their concerns to Brake's Zak the Zebra mascot at www.zakthezebra.org or by calling Zak's hotline on 08000 68 77 80.