Sunday, 15 October 2017

Letter to Helen Hayes

We sent the below email to our MP Helen Hayes following the DfT's 28 September statistical release, 'Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: 2016 Annual Report'.

Dear Helen,

Firstly, thank you for attending our meeting last month. We very much appreciated you joining us and for all your hard work in mediating between the many parties involved in current issues affecting local transport and travel.

Unfortunately, I must now turn to a much less happy matter.

I am writing to you in order to express the forum's grave concerns regarding the fact that pedestrian fatalities actually increased in 2016 and that 26% of these fatalities were children aged under 15.

We especially wish to highlight the cases of Esme Williams and Georgia Addy, two of the school children killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions last year.

Esme was killed by a van driver whilst scooting to pre-school. Georgia suffered life changing injuries after being struck by a van driver as she walked home from school. Both girls were on the pavement when they were hit yet neither driver received a custodial sentence.

As you are aware, the schools in the forum work hard to promote active travel to families in our community. We strongly believe active travel is vital to the health and wellbeing of our young people, but clearly this is absolutely dependent on our roads being safe for vulnerable users.

Following the coverage of the Williams trial, Daniel Hewett, a local parent, tweeted the Safe Routes account, writing 'Trucks mounting the pavement typifies our daily walk to school along Bowen Drive SE21'. This echoes the concerns of other parents in our community; they feel that not only our local roads, but even our pavements are too dangerous for our children to use safely.

We ask you, Helen, to please call on Government to prioritise improving road safety and to make clear what their plans are to ensure walking is a safe choice for our children and young people.

We do not wish to see another increase in such awful statistics. 

We look forward to hearing your response to our letter and of any steps you take to support our call. 

With thanks

Amy Foster

Dulwich & Herne Hill Safe Routes to School Group
c/o Alleyn's Junior School
Townley Road