Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by the road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his work campaigning for 20mph limits in his constituency and across the UK. The GO 20 coalition, launched by Brake in Road Safety Week 2012, calling for 20mph to become the norm across built-up areas, so children and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and for cheap and sustainable travel, without being or feeling endangered.
In 2006, as leader of the Liberal Democrats in Cambridgeshire County Council, Julian demanded the council reconsider its unfavourable position on 20mph limits, in light of Portsmouth’s decision to implement widespread 20mph limits. After three years of campaigning, the council agreed to trial 20mph limits in small areas in Cambridge city centre.
In early 2010, he led the All-Party Parliamentary Cycle Group he would later join as an MP, through a city tour of Cambridge, showing them the benefits to cyclists of 20mph limits. In 2011, the year after he was elected, Julian began campaigning for widespread 20mph limits across Cambridge, to make the entire city safer for pedestrians and cyclists. On March 15 2013, Cambridge City Council announced almost all roads in the city centre, including several main residential and shopping roads, will see 20mph limits. Introduction of the new limits will start in January 2014, to be completed by 2015.
Since 2012, Julian has also been leading an inquiry for the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on making cycling safer. Julian, along with fellow MP Ian Austin, asked ACPO to clarify the police position on enforcing 20mph limits in light of claims police would not penalise drivers speeding in 20mph areas. ACPO confirmed in a statement that police officers do enforce 20mph limits, in the same way they enforce other limits, but that they don’t provide extra enforcement of new limits unless agreed within local policing plans. This clarification puts paid to arguments that police will not enforce 20mph limits, and helps to boost the case for local authorities to GO 20.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, said: “Julian’s tireless campaign to make walking and cycling safer through 20mph limits, both in his constituency and nationally, will have a big impact on the lives of people in Cambridge and across the country. As part of the GO 20 campaign, Brake is fighting for everyone’s right to walk or cycle safely, without fear from fast traffic. By calling for widespread lower limits and debunking myths about 20mph, Julian has brought this vision a little closer. We look forward to the results of the All-Party Cycling inquiry, and thank Julian for his support for GO 20.”
Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, said: “I am delighted to win this award for a campaign which is so important for making our roads safer and saving lives. I want to see 20mph limits introduced across all built up areas where cars are likely to come into contact with pedestrians, children walking to school and cyclists. Slowing down speeds in these areas just makes sense and keeps people safe. I am delighted Cambridge City Council is expanding its 20mph limits and I hope councils across the UK will follow its lead.”
Read more about the GO 20 campaign.
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 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.