PRESS RELEASE from Brake, the road safety charity
Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians in tackling devastating road crashes and casualties were presented by road safety charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line
Steve Barclay, MP for North East Cambridgeshire, received the Community Campaigner Award for his successful year-long campaign for road safety measures on a treacherous stretch of the A47 that had seen a spate of devastating crashes resulting in five deaths in six years.
In spring 2011, Steve Barclay MP, Councillor John Fish and a group of local people launched a campaign calling for a speed camera on the road to be reactivated and improved warning signs.
After the Highways Agency refused to fund the camera, Steve wrote to Cambridge County Council Highways Department twice, met the Highways Agency twice, and met then transport minister Mike Penning MP, asking them to
Steve Barclay, Tina Butcher, and Steve Butcher look at the issue. On 10 April Mike Penning contacted Steve to say the government had instructed the Highways Agency to pay for the signs and confirmed the speed camera would be switched back on.
Due to Steve’s campaigning, a new warning sign has been erected and the camera turned back on. Steve is monitoring the situation on the A47, and now campaigning for a crash barrier adjacent to a local bridge.
He also recently launched a campaign with the bereaved family of Jamie Butcher, who was killed by a dangerous driver in 2011, aged just 22. Alongside Steve Barclay, Steve, Tina, and Hollie Butcher are calling for tougher punishments for dangerous drivers to deter risky driving and ensure justice for bereaved and injured victims. Read more at www.StopDangerousDrivers.com.
Steve Barclay MP says: "I am honoured to receive this recognition from Brake. There is often a sense within rural communities that their voice is not heard and the initial response from the Highways Agency struck me as dismissive. It cannot be right that two simple road signs would cost £30k or that a speed camera already in place could not be switched on in response to local concerns. It is pleasing to see the community work together to have a Minister listen and act on their concerns. I hope this stretch of road will be a little safer as a result.
“I also hope that this recognition from Brake will help the Stop Dangerous Drivers campaign in reaching a wider audience. I am so proud to have been given a chance to work alongside Steve, Tina, and Hollie Butcher in the search for Justice for Jamie, and I am all the more determined to continue campaigning for safer roads, safer driving, and justice for the bereaved and injured victims of crashes."
The Awards were presented by Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive, and Tom Woolgrove, managing director of personal lines of Direct Line Group, which sponsored the awards and reception. The reception was attended by Brake's supporters, including parliamentarians, corporate partners, road safety professionals and volunteers working in their communities to improve road safety.
Julie Townsend, Brake's deputy chief executive, said: "Steve’s efforts to champion crucial road safety measures, in his constituency and in parliament, and to give a voice to families devastated by road crashes, is truly commendable. Steve has shown tremendous dedication and resolve to bringing about positive outcomes for their constituents and communities across the UK, by fighting for safer roads and a tougher approach to tackling risky, deadly driving. Efforts like his are critical in making our roads and communities safe for everyone and preventing needless tragedies that inflict such terrible pain and trauma. Brake commends Steve for his valiant work which has, and will continue to, make a real difference to people's lives."
Tom Woolgrove, managing director of personal lines at Direct Line Group, said: "We are delighted to sponsor these awards and play our part in improving safety on our roads. Serious work and effort has been undertaken by MPs this year to promote and campaign on road safety; but more can and must be done. As a major motor insurer, Direct Line Group is committed to reducing death and injury on UK roads. However, we know actions speak louder than words. That’s why this year, as well extending our sponsorship with Brake, we have chosen them as one of our four main charity partners. What’s more, we’re providing our staff with the opportunity to volunteer during work hours, on some quality road safety initiatives, to make our communities safer."