COLUMN: We need to make our roads safer, by Gloria De Piero, Ashfield MP
Everybody knows how important road safety is.
Children are taught from an early age how to safely cross the road and keeping safe is a key element of learning to drive any motor vehicle or bicycle. But too many people are still getting killed and injured on our roads and many of these deaths and injuries are avoidable. Data gathered by the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Road Safety (PACTS) shows that Ashfield has a ‘high’ rate of constituents being killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions. In 2015, there was one fatal injury, 35 serious injuries and 245 slight injuries. This means that according to PACTS’ national index, the number of Ashfield people killed or seriously injured is 27 per cent higher than the national average.
Good improvements have been made in reducing this number, but there is clearly much more to do. I am backing campaign by residents and users of the A60 at Harlow Wood to make that road safer. In the meantime, we can all do a little bit more to stay safe on the roads and make sure that we do not add to these tragic statistics.
You may have read about the work I have been doing to persuade the Government to look at the surplus sharing arrangement it has for the mineworkers’ pension scheme. Under the current arrangement it gets 50 per cent of any surplus. It has not actually ever paid in a penny but has made around £6.5bn in total. Along with Keith Stanley, the Notts NUM Area President and a MPS pensioner, I am meeting with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy next week to discuss whether this arrangement can be renegotiated.
I will let you know how the meeting goes.