Sleaford and North Hykeham MP Stephen Phillips has won Brake and Direct Line’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award for his campaign to reduce speed limits on local roads.
In March, Stephen was contacted by community members who were deeply concerned by the speed of traffic in residential areas where they live, and the threat this poses to people on foot and bicycle in particular.
Currently the speed limit on the A607 through Fulbeck is 40mph and on the A153 through West Willoughby it is 60mph.
Stephen was compelled to act to protect the community, and launched a campaign calling for 30mph limits on the roads. On 10 March 2011 he asked a question to Road Safety Minister Mike Penning and explained that the speed limits in these areas have been set at inappropriate and inconsistent levels in accordance with policies set by the council. Stephen went on to ask what can be done to change this. Mike agreed to meet Stephen and community campaigners on 13 September to discuss the issues.
Both Mike Penning and Stephen Phillips sent letters to Lincolnshire County Council’s Highways Department asking them to reconsider the speed limits. The council responded by stating that as the villages do not meet government criteria for a 30mph default limit, they have decided the roads do not warrant a lower limit.
Stephen has written to the council again urging them to reconsider and is awaiting further response before progressing with the campaign. Both Stephen and the community campaigners have pledged not to give up until the speed limits are reduced.
Read about Brake’s campaign for lower speed limits.
Read facts about speed in towns and villages.
Julie Townsend, Brake campaigns director, said: “As a charity that supports road crash victims, we know too well the appalling suffering that often results from fast traffic in communities. We must do more to prevent road crashes and casualties, and enable people to walk and cycle without fear, and lowering speed limits in communities is critical to this.
“Brake supports Stephen Phillips’ campaign for lower limits in his constituency, and urges Lincolnshire County Council to listen to the grave concerns of local residents. Taking the simple step of lowering speed limits in areas where people live can prevent needless casualties before they happen, and make these communities safer, greener and more pleasant places for local people.”
Stephen Phillips MP, said: “I am delighted to receive this award, but the credit must go to the local campaigners who have worked hard to raise awareness of this important issue. I am hopeful that, with the Minister on our side, we can persuade Lincolnshire County Council to lower the speed limits through West Willoughby and Fulbeck to a more sensible level.”