Greg Knight, MP for East Yorkshire, December 2009

dec09Greg Knight MP wins Brake’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award

East Yorkshire MP Greg Knight has won December’s ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award for his persistence in campaigning for safety improvements to the A1079 in his constituency.

The A1079 is a main artery through the East Riding of Yorkshire. The road runs through a number of villages and has a high casualty rate. There have been more than 300 crashes and 20 people have died on the road in the past five years, with four of the deaths taking place in December 2009.

Greg Knight has been campaigning for more than two years to persuade the Government and local highway authority to invest in safety improvements on the road, which is listed as the seventh most dangerous road in the United Kingdom*. From 2006 to 2009 he has regularly raised the profile of the problem in the media, maintaining pressure on national Government and local agencies.

One of the first steps in Mr Knight’s campaign was to table an Early Day Motion with neighbouring MP Graham Stuart, in October 2006, calling on the Government to provide funding for safety improvements on the A1079.

Throughout his campaign, Mr Knight has been working closely with Action Access, a local road safety action group that has inspired 650 local residents to sign a petition requesting funding for the upgrading of the A1079 road between Hull and York. Mr Knight joined the Action Access coordinators to take the petition to Number 10 Downing Street in February 2007.

Mr Knight has met with successive Transport Ministers on several occasions since April 2009 to demand increased funding for safety improvements on the road. He regularly calls for Government action through his local media, pointing out that Yorkshire and Humberside transport funding is just £215 per head of population compared with the England average of £305 per head.

He has also made representations to the Regional Transport Board and keeps in regular contact with the local highway authority. Highways officials have said they “appreciate Mr Knight’s efforts to secure Government funding to upgrade and improve the A1079.”

On 20 April 2009, Mr Knight asked a question in Parliament to highlight the terrible scale of death and injury on the road and urgent need for funding to Parliament and Government. He followed this up in November 2009 with another Parliamentary question on the Government’s plans for action, keeping up the pressure for funding to tackle the dangers on the A1079.

To push for an immediate practical solution to the stalemate, given the horrific number of deaths in December 2009, Mr Knight urged the local highway authority to construct a number of relatively low-cost pedestrian refuges as an interim safety measure. This proposal is now being seriously considered and the local authority is carrying out a feasibility study with a view to constructing pedestrian refuges on the road.

Mr Knight has vowed to keep up the pressure in 2010 until a long-term and effective solution to stop the carnage on the A1079 is achieved.

Greg Knight MP says “The A1079 is a main arterial route through the East Riding and as the economic recession starts to recede traffic levels will increase even further. Additional safety measures and improvements on this road are therefore vital, both in the interests of motorists and pedestrians alike, and I will continue to campaign until this has been achieved.”

Cathy Keeler, Brake’s Deputy Chief Executive, says “We congratulate Greg on his determination to improve road safety in his constituency and stop the carnage on the A1079. We are delighted to give Greg our ‘Parliamentarian of the Month’ award in recognition of his efforts and urge him to keep up the campaign”

Click below to read recent news stories on the issue:
Campaign appeal after teen killed on A1079 - The Press, 02.12.09
A1079 safety plea after widow dies - The Press, 06.12.09
Two die on A1079 - Nafferton Today, 23.12.09

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Tags: awards parliamentarian road crash