News from Brake
Wednesday, 27 June 2018
Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond (Yorks), has today been named as Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for June 2018, by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line Group.
The award recognises Mr Sunak’s crucial efforts to improve road safety for his constituents by securing a lower speed limit on a dangerous stretch of the A66 in North Yorkshire. Mr Sunak has been campaigning on this issue following a number of recent serious and fatal crashes on the A66 at Ravensworth, with concerns over the safety of the road being expressed to him by local residents.
Joining forces with North Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan, Ravensworth Parish Council and the A66 Action Group, Mr Sunak wrote to Highways England, who are responsible for the road, detailing the group’s concerns. They demanded immediate safety improvements, including a reduced speed limit, to the two-mile stretch of single carriageway near Ravensworth.
In a victory for the group, Highways England has now agreed to reduce the speed limit from 60mph to 50 mph, confirming that a temporary 50mph limit would be imposed as soon as possible and then made permanent.
Brake has long called for safer speed limits through its Pace for People campaign . Whilst some progress has been made on urban speed, with increasing numbers of 20mph zones across the UK, country roads remain a significantly high risk.
Most country roads  in the UK have a 60mph limit, the national default for single carriageway roads, however, such roads are often unsuitable for high speeds as they are narrow, with blind bends, and no pavements or cycle paths. Local councils are permitted to set lower limits in certain areas but any deviation from the default speed can be costly to implement. Brake is seeking a reduction in the national default limit to deliver slower, safer roads.
Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said:
“Mr Sunak’s role in securing a slower, safer speed limit on this dangerous stretch of road in his constituency such be applauded, and Brake is delighted to recognise his important efforts on improving road safety with this award.
“Shockingly, 40% of all road deaths in Britain happen on country roads , and the cause is often speed-related. Brake is calling for a reduction of the national default 60mph limit on single carriageway roads to 50mph. Slower speeds save lives and help make our streets more liveable environments”
Commenting, Rishi Sunak MP said:
“I am very grateful that Brake are helping to highlight the crucial issue of safety on rural roads, following the successful campaign for a lower speed limit on a stretch of the A66 near Ravensworth. I’d like to thank Police and Crime Commissioner Julia Mulligan for working with me to press Highways England to implement a 50mph speed limit. The A66 Action Group and Ravensworth parish council carried out a tremendous amount of work producing the necessary evidence to justify the new lower speed limit and should also be commended for their considerable efforts.”
Gus Park, Managing Director of Motor Insurance at Direct Line Group, said:
“Our research shows that in a 60mph zone, drivers find it acceptable to travel 12 per cent over the speed limit (67.4mph). A reduction in the speed limit on this dangerous road will save lives. Thanks to Rishi Sunak for improving road safety for his constituents.”
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors:
 Brake’s Pace for People campaign - http://www.brake.org.uk/campaigns/flagship-campaigns/go-20
 Country roads are defined as single carriageway roads with a speed limit of over 40mph.
 Taken from RAS40003 - Reported casualties by speed limit, road class and severity, Great Britain, 2016
Background information on the story here: https://www.rishisunak.com/news/rishi-sunak-helps-secure-a66-safety-improvements
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, 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.
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.
About Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Group is headquartered in Bromley. Through its number of well known brands the Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. The Group also provides insurance services for third parties through its partnerships division, Direct Line Group Partnerships. In the commercial sector, the Group's NIG and Direct Line for Business operations offer insurance products for businesses distributed through brokers or direct, respectively.