Local MP wins national award for pedestrian crossing campaigns

11 July 2013

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

Steve Brine, MP for Winchester and Chandler’s Ford, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his involvement in campaigns for pedestrian crossings in Winchester.

Steve began a campaign for a crossing outside Osborne School in Winchester in early 2012 after pupils gave a presentation on the need for a crossing on Andover Road, one of the busiest routes in and out of the city. Children, parents and teachers were becoming very concerned that a casualty was likely as the entrance to the school is on the bend of the busy road, making it dangerous to cross.

In March 2012 Steve invited staff and pupils to formally lobby him in the House of Commons. This provided a great opportunity for the children to present a case for a crossing and allowed Steve to formulate a strong letter to Hampshire County Council calling for a safe place to cross. Steve then worked cross-party with local councillors, setting up meetings and following the decision process closely until the announcement was made that a crossing would be built earlier this year.

Work began in February 2013 and in April Steve joined students and staff at Osborne School as they celebrated completion of the new traffic-light controlled puffin crossing on Andover Road. Staff and pupils from the school joined Steve in the House of Commons again on 12 June to celebrate their success.

Steve has previously successfully campaigned for a pedestrian crossing on the junction of St Cross Road, a busy commuter road, and Stanmore Lane, after Hampshire County Council claimed there was no budget. Steve chaired a public meeting in July 2011, attended by Hampshire transport officers and concerned local residents. In January 2012 it was confirmed that construction of two crossings would go ahead, ensuring the junction could be crossed in safety.

Steve has also recently begun a third campaign for a crossing on Worthy Road in Winchester. Steve coordinated a meeting earlier this month with local parents and children, and met with Hampshire County Council’s transport officer at the site. Steve hopes this campaign will be as successful as his previous two.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Steve has shown a strong commitment to achieving safer roads in his constituency, and especially safe passage for people on foot, listening to and acting on the concerns of local residents. His successes show what can be achieved by communities working together and taking action to prevent devastating casualties before they happen. Brake believes everyone has a right to walk and cycle without their lives being endangered. That’s why we campaign nationally for more safe walking and cycling facilities, and would encourage anyone with concerns about dangers on local roads to speak out.

Steve Brine MP said: “As a keen cyclist and parent of two little ones I am constantly aware of the importance of road safety and am delighted that my work in this area has been recognised by Brake. The staff and pupils from Osborne School have been absolutely brilliant in their campaign to get this crossing. It's been a long time coming, but it's a huge relief to us all to see this safe crossing now installed. I will continue to work hard for road safety in my constituency and beyond.”

About Brake

Brake

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (18-24 November 2013), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

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 Insurance Group plc

Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.