Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads

Recent announcements of the coalition government’s cuts are to dramatically worsen the plight of Britain’s poorest and most underprivileged children, new research reveals.

Recent announcements of the coalition government’s cuts threaten to significantly worsen the plight of Britain’s poorest and most underprivileged children. New research highlights how the inequitable nature in road safety afflicting children from the poorest parts of the country is set to get worse.

The Road Safety Analysis group found children from the poorest wards in Britain are disproportionately more prone to being the victims of road traffic accidents. They concluded that the riskiest area in the UK is Preston, where one child in every 206 is likely to be involved in a road collision annually.

Kensington and Chelsea is the safest place in the UK, with a risk of only one in 1,158. The national average is one in 427 children is injured or killed in a road accident each year.

Cuts announced by the coalition government to the Road Safety budget – amounting to £38 billion – will only exacerbate the situation and increase the danger on roads and highways in Britain’s poorest neighborhoods. Added to this, the government has also ceased central funding for speed cameras, with the result that councils up and down the country are being forced to majorly scale back or even scrap their speed enforcement measures.

There are 6,000 speed cameras in the UK. The financial sustainability of the system is now at serious risk. This year’s road safety budget is being cut by a shocking 40 per cent. This is made up of a 27 per cent cut to the revenue grant (with £20.6m being taken off a promised £76.7 million) and a 100  per cent cut to the capital grant (£17.2m). Both grants fund the maintenance and improvement of the speed cameras network.

These cuts are a reckless move by the coalition government, which undermines their claims to be following a progressive agenda. All the evidence points to the effectiveness of speed cameras in cutting road safety deaths, with Richard Allsop, professor of transport studies at University College London, stating there have been “substantial reductions” in casualties in the first five years of the roll-out of cameras:

“There is a bit of statistical debate about exactly how many, but the picture of a substantial reduction is quite undisputed and it’s consistent with measured reductions in speed at camera sites.”

Abolishing speed cameras (which in effect the government is doing) will impact upon all parts of Britain, but particularly for those in deprived and disadvantaged areas. Children in poorer areas tend to reside in urban conurbations, and will walk and cycle more often than their affluent peers. Their safety cannot be jeopardised, and society must be firm in opposition to what is one of the coalition government’s most socially regressive actions to date.

To further dismay, it is widely believed that Philip Hammond is set to reject an independent and expert review into reclassifying the permitted drink-driving limit. The review, led by Sir Peter North, proposed as one of its key recommendations that the drink-drive limit be reduced from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg. This is the same limit that applies in France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Spain.

Other measures included introducing random breath-testing of drivers, taking away the right to have a second breath test conducted at a police station, reducing the limit to 20mg for new drivers, and bringing in a new offence of driving with an illegal substance in the bloodstream that impairs the ability to drive. Collectively, these measures could save as many as 300 lives per year.

The transport secretary has also dismissed the idea of a blanket reduction of the speed limit in built-up areas to 20mph. This is a key measure advocated by Brake, the road safety campaign, to reduce the risk for children who live in urbanised and built-up areas. At the very least, these measures should be debated in parliament.

Road safety has markedly improved in recent years. However, the current government’s early decisions on the issue are set to reverse that trend. The stakes are high, and lives are at risk. Their actions should be vigorously opposed by anyone who aspires to improve road safety, cut deaths, and safeguard children, especially the poorest, from the dangers of Britain’s concrete arteries.

23 Responses to “Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads”

  1. Shamik Das

    Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads: http://bit.ly/bsLVol writes @rayhanhaque @leftfootfwd

  2. jaqi

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads: http://bit.ly/bsLVol writes @rayhanhaque

  3. Chris Horner

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads: http://bit.ly/bsLVol writes @rayhanhaque

  4. R Gordon

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads: http://bit.ly/bsLVol via @spitfirepilot1 < appalling

  5. sallymumbycroft

    RT @leftfootfwd: Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads: http://bit.ly/bsLVol writes @rayhanhaque

  6. Anon E Mouse

    Rayhan Hague – This type of article shows exactly why Cameron and Clegg were right to act together in coalition.

    The cameras are being removed by councils, not central government – it is their choice where they make the necessary cuts (as a result of the deficit caused by the Labour government).

    To describe the removal of speed cameras as not “progressive” is crazy and clearly your article, with it’s tribal approach, is an example of how far out of touch Labour supporters have become.

    It’s why Labour has shed 5 million votes and had it’s popularity as low as the time of Michael Foot last election.

    Next you’ll be telling me 90 days detention and ID Cards are a good idea and then try to give reasons as to why your position is correct. If you can get children in there somehow, especially disadvantaged ones, it all looks better.

    Having spent the last few years being told Gordon Brown isn’t a bully and he gets on well with Tony Blair I really think that contributors to this blog should start considering that the very undesirable positions they advocate are the reason Labour is now in opposition.

    Thank goodness Labour is out of office and roll on Nick Clegg and his Freedom Act in the autumn…

  7. Chris

    @Mouse

    Ah good, normal service has resumed, were you having a rare moment of sanity on the previous thread?

    “To describe the removal of speed cameras as not “progressive” is crazy and clearly your article, with it’s tribal approach, is an example of how far out of touch Labour supporters have become.”

    LOL, I don’t know what to say, the sheer boneheaded lunacy of this paragraph is something to behold. My first reaction is to call you a fucking moron and be done with it…

    “Next you’ll be telling me 90 days detention and ID Cards are a good idea and then try to give reasons as to why your position is correct. If you can get children in there somehow, especially disadvantaged ones, it all looks better.”

    Yes, clearly speed cameras as repulsive an idea as 90 days detention – I’m being ironic here, just so you know mousey.

    “Having spent the last few years being told Gordon Brown isn’t a bully and he gets on well with Tony Blair I really think that contributors to this blog should start considering that the very undesirable positions they advocate are the reason Labour is now in opposition.”

    Yawn, how are speed camera and road safety anything to do with Brown and his relation with Blair?

    “Thank goodness Labour is out of office and roll on Nick Clegg and his Freedom Act in the autumn…”

    Yes, I’m sure legislation requiring schools to request parental permission before using children’s fingerprints to control access to the school library will strike a death blow to the big brother state – I’m being ironic there, just so you know mousey.

    So, come on mouse, why do you believe death and serious injury on the roads have fallen in the last 20 years? Don’t you think road safety is a good idea? Or does it infringe on your individual liberty to drive too fast and kill a disadvantaged child – hint of sarcasm there mousey.

  8. Mr. Sensible

    Fully agree with this article.

    Tories pandering to the motorist.

  9. Mark

    “Cuts announced by the coalition government to the Road Safety budget – amounting to £38 billion”

    Sorry, but what is the source for this statistic? It is clearly inaccurate and I hope this article is corrected.

    Mark

  10. Betty Holmes

    Coalition cuts endanger the poorest children on UK roads | Left … http://bit.ly/aofooX

  11. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Once again the obsessive and compulsive side of your character has got the better of you. Situation normal I guess – remember to pause before you post Chris, you don’t need to respond to every line I write – it’s weird.

    Before I post about road accidents reducing all over the Western world due to better safety in cars for example and the situation of Swindon let’s just go over what you’ve said. For once will you please answer what you’re asked, preferably without resorting to bad language.

    Since the majority of people that drive hate speed cameras, why do you think it is “progressive” to have the state monitor you by remote machines?

    People hate ID cards and 90 days detention – it is all state encroachment of our lives. Do you really not see that? Have you still not realised Labour lost the election and these types of views are exactly what the public rejected?

    That’s why I mention this blog publishing lies about Brown and Blair and speed cameras being “progressive” and PFI a good idea etc – it’s all the same.

    For example Claire French has published an article on LFF called: “Glass half-full for Tony as half-price books fail to fly off the shelves”

    I cannot believe that she isn’t aware of the way books are sold in this country (half price) or the fact it is the fastest selling political memoir ever. And if she knows what she has printed is wrong, then she’s being deceitful, tribal and dishonest.

    And that’s the point Chris – the values you seem to think are acceptable, dishonesty for a cause I’ll call it, is unattractive the public. It’s why Labour lost 5 million votes and became as popular as Michael Foot in 1983.

    It’s why if David Miliband isn’t elected (he will be) you’ll be in opposition for a long long time.

    Remember Chris Labour lost the election for a reason…

  12. John Slinger

    The ConDem government must be held to account for the increase in death and injury brought about by their direct or indirect actions. Of course speed cameras work. Those who despise them used to disguise their irresponsibility towards their fellow road users as concern that government was using cameras as a cash cow. Now that we hear they’re being dismantled in order to save money for councils and police, the same people clap their hands. Bizarre. Thanks to the Lib Dems and their Tory chums, irresponsible speeders can now defend their dangerous actions on the grounds that the right to speed is part of some wider defence of freedom and attack on the so-called ‘Nanny State’. So much for the progressive ConDems eh?
    No-one has a right to speed. Speed kills. Almost every crash (let’s not insult the victims by calling them ‘accidents’) is caused to some extent by human error. Sadly we can never eliminate human error. But when it comes to people choosing intentionally to do dangerous things like drive at excessive speeds, or under the influence of drink or drugs, we can and must do all we can to dissuade them. Imagine if we’d taken a solely libertarian attitude to drink driving? Just think of all the children who lived to reach adulthood because we as a society chose to tackle drink driving. The same is true of speeding. What speed-defenders are basically saying is that they have a right to break the law and endanger us all. I say we as a society have a right to enforce the law which was democratically passed by Parliament in order to protect innocent people from dangerous behaviour.

  13. Anon E Mouse

    John Slinger – If as a society we adopted your views nothing would ever be done.

    No smoking in case of cancer, no drinking because of liver disease, no fatty foods because of obesity, no horse riding in case you fall off, no rugby, boxing blah blah – nothing that puts anyone at risk.

    Where does it end John? Contrary to every effort by the Labour government you simply cannot legislate against risk and if you think that the use of mechanical surveillance as a means of controlling society is acceptable than frankly Labour needs to be out of office for a long time.

    I personally believe that education is the way to change behaviour not state control. I guess I really am a liberal.

    Someone in the Labour Party needs to realise that freedom and a smaller progressive state is surely the ideal we should all aim for and tax raising speed cameras are not the way to do it.

    I cannot believe that in my lifetime Labour supporters are advocating a big government that controls peoples lives with dna databases, cctv etc and state control enforced by large prison sentences and huge penalties for anyone who breaks their rules.

    I ask you the same question John Slinger: Why do you think it is “progressive” to have the state monitor you by remote machines?

    (Do you personally drive regularly btw?)

  14. Anon E Mouse

    John Slinger – I am not in any way advocating speeding and the very democratic law you mention at the end of your post works both ways…

  15. Chris

    @Mouse

    “Chris – Once again the obsessive and compulsive side of your character has got the better of you. Situation normal I guess – remember to pause before you post Chris, you don’t need to respond to every line I write – it’s weird.”

    Yawn.

    “Before I post about road accidents reducing all over the Western world due to better safety in cars for example and the situation of Swindon let’s just go over what you’ve said. For once will you please answer what you’re asked, preferably without resorting to bad language.”

    Fuck off. On the point of Swindon, a death has already occurred on a stretch of road protected by a speed camera.

    “Since the majority of people that drive hate speed cameras, why do you think it is “progressive” to have the state monitor you by remote machines?”

    Silly mouse, how is it any more progressive for the state to use people to monitor citizens? Do try and think your arguments through mousey.

    And I believe opinion polls show a majority of support for speed cameras. The people that moan and bluster about speed cameras are the fucking morons who drive to fast, like the absolute wanker who nearly smashed into me yesterday afternoon.

    “People hate ID cards and 90 days detention – it is all state encroachment of our lives. Do you really not see that? Have you still not realised Labour lost the election and these types of views are exactly what the public rejected?”

    Conflating speed cameras with ID cards and detention without trial really is moronic. While I don’t agree with ID cards or 90-days, I do agree with speed cameras which are there to protect people’s individual right not to be knocked down by a speeding driver. Do you not realise
    that most people are extreme libertarians?

    “That’s why I mention this blog publishing lies about Brown and Blair and speed cameras being “progressive” and PFI a good idea etc – it’s all the same.”

    No its not, do you really believe what is written on central office’s script? All governments do good and bad things, your just peddling central offices line that Labour were all bad. They weren’t, my father had an angiogram yesterday within a two weeks of seeing the GP; he waited 6 months in 1995 and only got one that quickly because he had a heart attack.

    “It’s why if David Miliband isn’t elected (he will be) you’ll be in opposition for a long long time.”

    wtf? You rant endlessly about Labour abandoning working people, yet you want the most Blairite of the candidates? Consistency isn’t your strong point is it, mousey.

    Now be a good mouse and go play in the traffic.

  16. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – I actually think you’re genuine and you really don’t get it! Do you really NOT see the big picture?

    When people like park wardens, bus conductors and the like “monitor” people it has to be better than cameras – you worry me. I don’t want anyone to monitor me – I have been driving regularly for 30 years and have no points on my licence.

    I do not need CCTV to watch my behaviour thank you and before you start your usual compulsive/delusional/reactive and obsessive response, the one your friends have mentioned I’m sure, how did this country fare before you and your Stalinist friends installed your cameras?

    Why doesn’t the electorate vote for your party anymore and you’ve lost 5 million voters?

    If you are at university and I personally doubt you are, what course are you on?

    Remember Chris – Labour lost the election and without capturing the centre ground, like Blair did, you can’t win. Do you REALLY not understand that?

  17. Chris

    @Mousey

    Oh dear, after all your progress, you’ve slipped back in to deluded fantasy; your’ll be under the chemical cosh again if you don’t calm down.

    “When people like park wardens, bus conductors and the like “monitor” people it has to be better than cameras – you worry me. I don’t want anyone to monitor me – I have been driving regularly for 30 years and have no points on my licence.”

    Are you saying it is better for park wardens, bus conductors, etc to spy on you than for a camera to do so?

    And so what if you’ve got a clean license after 30 years, don’t speed then the camera doesn’t go off and you don’t get monitored. Plus, if a disadvantaged child runs into the road you’ve lessened the chance of killing them.

    “I do not need CCTV to watch my behaviour thank you and before you start your usual compulsive/delusional/reactive and obsessive response, the one your friends have mentioned I’m sure, how did this country fare before you and your Stalinist friends installed your cameras?”

    Yawn, central office have omitted a key fact from your flow chart – CCTV was in fact the brain child of one David Cameron, then a spad at Michael Howards home office. And are the condems going to start removing cameras?

    “Why doesn’t the electorate vote for your party anymore and you’ve lost 5 million voters?”

    The economy had tanked, people wanted “change”, Brown lacked charisma and looked old compared to the cleggeron, tories had a new leader not a throwback from pre-97 who tried to sound less rightwing, certain parts of the electorate were annoyed that the Labour party hadn’t showered shit loads of money on them, certain parts of the electorate were annoyed Labour had showered money on those they deemed scroungers and certain parts of the electorate didn’t like immigration. Plus of course the constant drip, drip of black propaganda stating Labour had wasted money: NHS managers, etc. Oh and disillusionment with politicians after expenses.

    “If you are at university and I personally doubt you are, what course are you on?”

    Oh really and what makes you say that? What does it matter what course I’m on?

    “Remember Chris – Labour lost the election and without capturing the centre ground, like Blair did, you can’t win. Do you REALLY not understand that?”

    I understand that perfectly but that is one thesis, and to a certain extend true Blair captured the centre ground in 97 but since then its moved.

    But don’t delude yourself, my little mental mousey, your *not* the median voter; the way your opinions swings widely from one post to the next makes me wonder if your there is actually more than one personality inside your crazy mousey head.

  18. Anon E Mouse

    Chris – Why do I not think you’re at university? Emm let’s see.

    You do not seem to have the ability to see the big picture in things and your analysing of every line smacks of immaturity, the type normally seen in someone not old enough to be in further education.

    Your tribalism is frankly ridiculous and why I say “Labour lost for a reason” yet you seem unable to modify it – again it’s very immature.

    You certainly seem to lack any reason or an ability to reason and are unable to play Devils Advocate and that’s generally associated with youth.

    Despite repeated requests you seem unable to desist from using bad language in a public forum and you resort to smearing at every opportunity – again actions consistent with lower intelligence or youth.

    What course would you be on (if you were) – nothing involving politics, philosophy that sort of thing. Probably the arts or graphic design or media studies.

    And keep blaming everyone but the Labour Party Chris and you can stay irrelevant and in opposition for a long time yet…

  19. Marcus Cotswell

    Would it be better if you could implement a policy that meant the same number of children would die but more of them were from affluent backgrounds? Is that really what you mean by being ‘progressive’?

  20. Chris

    @Marcus

    Sensible policy for a happier Britain.

  21. Chris

    @Mental Mousey

    LOL, your so far from the truth it really does make me giggle. Coming from somebody who can’t seem to understand moderate irony, let alone the dizzy height of sarcasm – don’t tell me, you studied PPE at Oxford? Or was it CSE woodwork?

    Now be a good mouse and go play in the traffic.

  22. Previous posts « NCVYS' Financial Monitoring Blog

    […] Road Safety (02/09/10) A researcher at the Fabian Society, a centre-left think tank, has written an article examing the cuts to the road safety budget by 40%. This is made up of a 27% cut to the revenue grant (with £20.6m being taken off a promised £76.7m) and a £100% cut to the capital grant (£17.2m). The article analyses research from Road Safety Analysis which found that children from the poorest wards in Britain are disproportionately more prone to being the victims of road traffic accidents, and goes on to infer that the cuts to the road safety budget ‘threaten to significantly worsen the plight of Britain’s poorest and most underprivileged children’. […]

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