The Westminster Parliament was in recess for August – apart from being recalled for the debate on Syria. When it returned on Monday 2 September, MPs of all parties and from all parts of the UK demonstrated that road safety is an issue high on their agendas and that of their constituents. In a Backbench Business Committee session on the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s report Get Britain Cycling, one hundred MPs spoke in a debate lasting four hours. PACTS officers, including MPs Barry Sheerman, Sir Peter Bottomley and Jim Fitzpatrick all spoke. As the 10 o’clock deadline loomed, the Speaker apologised for having to restrict the remaining speeches to four minutes each. The motion was carried unopposed. The debate was not entirely about safety but many MPS made the point that improving safety – reducing casualties and making cyclists feel safer – was crucial to the challenge of increasing cycle use. The importance of cycling to sustainability and public health was stressed by the Minister Norman Baker MP and by many other MPs. Clearly MPs and the public have an appetite for safety in this wider context. Which leads nicely to my next point…..
PACTS Triple Whammy conference
Road safety, sustainability travel and public health are the themes of the PACTS Triple Whammy conference on 16 October in London. From the PACTS’ research project underway it is increasingly evident that at the national and local level, road safety delivery is being integrated with sustainable travel and public health. This is creating opportunities and challenges for professionals in local authorities, the health sector and elsewhere. We have an excellent set of speakers from each of the sectors who will explain how more can be achieved by closer working across the sectors. Shadow public health minister Dianne Abbott MP will give the keynote address.
Shadow minister for road safety and a loyal supporter of PACTS, Jim Fitzpatrick MP, has resigned his post after voting against Labour’s policy on action in Syria.
DfT and the Mayor of London have announced plans to tackle HGV safety in the capital, following the government response to the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group’s inquiry ‘Get Britain Cycling’. Fixed penalty notices for careless driving came into force on the 16th August.
Booking will be held on the 1 & 2 October in the Radisson Blu Airport Hotel, Manchester Airport.
This will be the last PACTS newsletter compiled by Naomi Baster, Policy and Research Officer at PACTS for the past three years. Naomi has given PACTS excellent service, monitoring parliament, managing the working parties, undertaking valuable research into older drivers, safety and sustainability, and the impacts of austerity on safety; and much more. Fortunately for road safety Naomi is leaving to join the Transport for London road safety team. We will miss her but wish her every success in her future career.
Thanks, — David Davies, Executive Director
16/10 Triple Whammy 9.30am, Royal College of Surgeons 4/12 24th Westminster Lecture 6pm, Church House 18/09ETSC PIN Talk Rome