Caroline Flint, MP for Don Valley and Labour’s shadow energy and climate change spokesperson, has been given a national road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for her commitment to increasing 20mph limits in her constituency.
Caroline’s campaign began shortly after she was elected as an MP for Don Valley. In 1998 she supported a campaign for more 20mph ‘home zones’ to make residential areas safer. By 2000 she was calling for local communities to be given the right to set their own speed limits. She also championed the campaign of a small village, Austerfield, which had a 40mph limit, for it to be reduced to 30mph. Despite the opposition of some local councillors, the campaign was successful.
When Doncaster adopted a directly elected mayor in 2002, Caroline helped draft his manifesto, which included 20mph areas. This has resulted in the first 20mph limits being rolled out across the Doncaster borough.
Her work in publicising the benefits of 20mph across her constituency has attracted some high profile support, with neighbouring MPs Ed Miliband and Rosie Winterton raising awareness of the benefits of 20mph limits in their own constituencies.
In September 2013, the new mayor of Doncaster began to roll out the first wave of 20mph limits at nine schools and by 2014, with Caroline’s support, they are now into their third wave of 20mph limits with plans to extend this to the whole borough.
Road safety is generally an important issue for Caroline who has also campaigned against illegal parking on zig-zag lines and for more pedestrian crossings in villages.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “We are delighted Caroline has shown long-standing commitment to 20mph limits and safer streets, and we hope her campaign will bring further success. Ultimately, we would like everyone in Don Valley, and cities, towns and villages across the UK, to reap the benefits of 20mph limits. That’s why we’re campaigning nationally for all our communities to ‘GO 20’ and for drivers to slow down, to make our streets safer and more pleasant for walking and cycling. We believe everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their area, for their health and enjoyment, and as a cheap and sustainable way to get about, without being put in danger. 20mph limits help people to do just that.”
Caroline Flint MP for Don Valley said: “From my election as an MP for Don Valley, road safety has always been a crucial issue for me and something I have campaigned hard to achieve. I firmly believe that communities know best what traffic speed they feel is right. In my experience, more schools and communities are wanting 20mph limits and they deserve to be listened to. My thanks to Brake for this award, and I hope their campaigning continues to reach the parts others have failed to reach.”