Keep county’s cyclists safe
For several years this area has suffered one of the highest death and serious injury rates to cyclists in the UK.
The last statistics for Preston shows a 70 per cent increase in deaths and serious injuries to cyclists over a five-year period.
Recently the LEP has graphically illustrated this appalling statistic, with four serious accidents during a few days.
Out of these four terrible accidents to cyclists, in three cases, victims were left unconscious at the scene by selfish drivers who quickly drove away. This unacceptable inhuman behaviour seems an increasing trend.
Much more can be done, similar to that in most northern European countries and a few UK cities, to prevent and reduce the high toll of accidents to cyclists.
Most of these tragedies are caused by bad cycle highway and cycleway design and by inconsiderate or aggressive drivers.
Over 35 years ago, the deaths and serious injuries to those in motor vehicles was increasing each year.
Billions of pounds has been spent by national and local governments and motor vehicle manufacturers to save lives by improving vehicle safety and constructing hundreds of miles of by-passes and motorways.
At the same time spending on safer and better cycling provision has been inadequate.
Result? Although car ownership is increasing, the number of severe car accidents in the UK is one of the lowest in Europe, while the number of UK cycling accidents is among the highest.
The Government and many local authorities now have safe cycle policies, including traffic-free and convenient cycle / walkways. There are ambitious plans to encourage many more people to cycle, or walk for better health and wellbeing. Also, to leave the car at home and cycle local journeys.
This will significantly reduce motor traffic congestion and pollution.
But, most local authorities are largely paying lip service.
Most Post readers are aware cycle and walking safety representatives, in Preston and Lancashire, have been campaigning to ‘Save the Guild Wheel’ from dangers caused by over eight new junctions.
There are also plans to build many new local junctions and by- pass roads, costing over £250m.
These are being designed to improve motor vehicle safety, convenience and reduce journey times.
Local cycling safety campaigners are warning that cyclists’ and walkers’ lives must not put at great risk by the current planned outdated road crossings and a lack of good safe cycle/walkway provision.
County councillors and the City Deal Board have been alerted to these probable dangers.
A welcome resolution was recently passed by all county council parties, ordering its officers to consult with established cycling groups to ensure cycling / walking provision and new highway crossings and junctions are in line with best practice, especially along the Guild Wheel route.
Time is running out.
Many of the new highway and housing estate plans are being finalised. Some are being constructed.
Those who have signed the 10,500 plus Save Our Guild Wheel petition and Prestonians who have friends and relations who enjoy the Guild Wheel will be keen to see the necessary action.
They will hold local authorities and the City Deal Board accountable to ensure new road schemes help to significantly reduce the unacceptable high toll of deaths and serious injuries to vulnerable road users in Lancashire and Preston.
Four leading and recognised local authority, experienced cycling representatives
Definition of Trumpery
The OED defines ‘Trumpery’ as: 1. ‘Deceit, fraud, imposture, trickery’. 2. ‘Something of less value than it seems’. Discuss.
ME Wright, address supplied
Let’s support our nurses
Nurses across the North West are calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer to scrap the one per cent pay cap when he delivers his Autumn Statement on November 23.
The one per cent cap on pay increases for public sector workers has meant that some nurses have seen their pay fall by up to 14 per cent in real terms since 2010 – a massive impact.
In the North West, some NHS Trusts are facing a recruitment crisis which could mean Trusts will soon lack the staff needed to provide safe patient care.
Nurses are telling us they struggle to cope on their current pay levels and feel undervalued which leads to low morale and staff leaving the profession for good.
Unless the Chancellor takes urgent steps to ensure nursing pay reflects the complexity and value of the role, the nursing profession is being led into crisis.
Members of the Royal College of Nursing are calling for a fair deal by asking the Chancellor to scrap the one per cent public sector pay cap for NHS staff, award NHS staff with an above-inflation pay increase and return to a UK-wide pay rate in the NHS.
If you would like to show your support for fair pay for nursing staff, visit www.rcn.org.uk/
nursingcounts to find out what we are doing and to sign the petition on nursing pay.
Let’s tell the Chancellor that this is his opportunity to show that the Government does indeed value nurses.
Thousands of nursing staff across the North West region are dedicated to caring for you, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, whatever your illness or condition.
Please show your support for us.
Paul Wood, RCN North West
John was an old school friend
Re: the photo of John Crompton in Looking Back (LEP November 11). I used to live in Harrington Street and would walk to meet John and his brother Robert, then carry on to St Walburge’s School together.
His parents, Jack and Barbara, were great friends of my uncle, Norman Marsden.
The above Looking Back photo of them was probably taken in the early 1960s.
Alan Smith via email