News from Brake
Monday 01 April 2019
Rachel Reeves, MP for Leeds West, has today been named as Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for March 2019, by Brake, the road safety charity, and Direct Line Group.
The award recognises Ms Reeves’ efforts to improve road safety in her constituency by demanding urgent action from Transport Secretary, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, and local roads chiefs to cut the number of deaths and serious injuries on Leeds’ roads. Ms Reeves wants to see speeds lowered on roads across Leeds with the introduction of more 20mph speed limits.
Ms Reeves was moved to act after being alerted to concerns from her constituents about speeding motorists and dangerous driving. This led Ms Reeves to carry out a survey of her constituents to investigate the problems and look at possible solutions, with the majority of the 511 respondents identifying ‘speeding in residential areas’ as a key issue. As a result of this, Ms Reeves launched her road safety campaign, calling on the City Council to implement more 20mph limits across Leeds, and demanding support from Transport Secretary, The Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP, given the impact cuts to local authority and police budgets have had on road safety improvement and enforcement.
As part of her campaign, Ms Reeves has also gone on to further lobby the local authority in Leeds. She has arranged a meeting with them to discuss concerns around many of the faster roads which are also highly residential and in need of road safety action, including traffic calming measures and potential lower speed limits.
National road safety charity, Brake, has long called for the widespread rollout of 20mph speed limits in urban areas. 20mph is widely considered the safest speed for areas where traffic mixes with people walking and cycling due to the vulnerability of these road users. Brake wants to see the Government reduce the national default limit in urban areas from 30mph to 20mph, creating a safer road environment for people to be able to move in safe and healthy ways.
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
“We are delighted to present Ms Reeves with the March Parliamentarian award for road safety. This award is thoroughly deserved for the commitment Ms Reeves has shown to the safety of her constituents by demanding urgent action to lower speeds and save lives on roads in Leeds.
“20mph limits where people work, live and play are widely accepted as the safest option - stopping distances at 20mph are half those at 30mph. We need the Government to take action and reduce the national default 30mph limit in urban areas to 20mph. Slower speeds save lives and help make our streets more liveable environments, encouraging more people to walk and cycle safely and confidently in their local area.”
Accepting her award, Rachel Reeves MP said:
“I am delighted to accept Brake’s Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month Award. The toll of deaths and serious injuries on our roads is far too high and needs urgent action. I would like to see more 20mph zones to help reduce the risks faced by all road users. Road safety is an issue of vital importance to my constituents, and I will continue to press local and central government to ensure that the roads in Leeds West are safer for all to use.”
Gus Park, Managing Director of Motor Insurance at Direct Line Group, said:
“We are very pleased that Rachel Reeves MP has been selected as Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month for the work the she's been doing to implement more 20mph speed limits in Leeds. The lower speed limit will make a significant contribution towards reducing the number of deaths and serious injuries in urban areas.”
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.