Local MP wins national road safety award for speed limit campaigns

Monday 15 December 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his campaigns to reduce speed limits to improve safety on a number of roads in his constituency including the A38 and A50.

The A38 and A50 are both major arterial routes that run through Andrew's constituency, and both have seen fatal crashes in recent months, along with a number of other collisions and near misses.

In September, Willington man James Clarke was killed on the A38 when his car broke down on the inside lane. He tried to push it on to the roadside verge to put it in a safe position, but was hit by a passing vehicle, suffering injuries from which he later died in hospital. In October, two men were killed and another seriously injured on the A50 in crashes involving HGVs.

Andrew has previously successfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit to 60mph on some parts of the A38, as well as closing risky gaps that allowed drivers to cut across the dual carriageway, following the deaths of two sisters on the road in 2012. Andrews was recognised by Brake for his campaign at the time.

Now, following the most recent casualties, Andrew is calling on the Highways Agency to extend the lower 60mph limit along the entire stretch of the A38 that runs through his constituency, as well as calling for speed enforcement measures on the A50.

A multi-million pound engineering project is in the pipeline for the A50, but this could take years, and Andrew is keen to prevent further crashes before then. As well as seeking to prevent the devastating impact of road casualties on families and communities, Andrew recognises the economic benefits of improving road safety, as the succession of the crashes on the A38 and the A50 has had serious implications for local businesses in his constituency.

Andrews has already gathered the support of Staffordshire Police and Fire chiefs behind his campaign, and is optimistic about repeating the success of his campaign in 2012.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "It is good to see Andrew keeping up his record of campaigning to make roads in his constituency safer, and we are pleased to recognise him as road safety parliamentarian of the month. Crashes like those happening with alarming regularity on the A38 and A50 have a devastating impact on families and communities, but they can be prevented. Reducing speed is proven to reduce casualties, so we are fully behind Andrew's calls to reduce and enforce speed limits on these roads, and we urge everyone driving in the area to take the responsibility to slow down and look out for each other. We wish Andrew every success with his latest campaign."

Accepting his award, Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I'm really pleased that my efforts to make the A50 and A38 safer have been recognised. This is the second time I have received the award and I'm really pleased my efforts have been recognised by the country's biggest road safety charity."

Notes for editors

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

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
Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com