MP wins Brake safety award for 20 mph campaign
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, Huppert 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, Huppert 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, Huppert has also been leading an inquiry for the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group on making cycling safer and, along with fellow MP Ian Austin, he 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.
Julian Huppert 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.”