May 22 2013 Latest news:
Story by: ROB SETCHELL, Reporter
Saturday, January 19, 2013
NE CAMBS MP Steve Barclay’s tenacious efforts to fight for safer roads in the Fens and justice for crash victims have been recognised with a national award.
Mr Barclay was named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year and received the Community Campaigner Award at road safety charity Brake’s annual reception at the Houses of Parliament.
The accolade rewarded Mr Barclay’s year-long campaign to reactivate a speed camera and install signs on a treacherous stretch of the A47, which had seen five crash deaths in six years.
After the Highways Agency refused to fund the camera, Mr Barclay wrote to Cambridgeshire County Council Highways Department twice, met the Highways Agency twice and met then transport minister Mike Penning.
In April last year, Mr Penning said the Government had instructed the Highways Agency to pay for the signs and confirmed the speed camera would be switched back on.
Mr Barclay has also played a key part in the Justice for Jamie campaign, which was launched by this newspaper last year and calls for tougher punishments for dangerous drivers.
It began after student Jamie, 22, was mown down and killed by speeding driver Michael Moore on a pedestrian crossing in Churchill Road, Wisbech, in February 2011.
Moore, of Murrow Lane, Parson Drove, was doing almost twice the speed limit and had run a red light - but he was jailed for just 43 months in April.
With the help of Mr Barclay, Jamie’s mother Tina and stepfather Steve Green took their fight for tougher sentences to Parliament this month as they held a discussion with justice secretary Chris Grayling.
They were back in Parliament on Wednesday night, to see Mr Barclay pick up his award.
The NE Cambs MP said: “I am honoured to receive this recognition from Brake. There is often a sense within rural communities that their voice is not heard and the initial response from the Highways Agency struck me as dismissive.
“It cannot be right that two simple road signs would cost £30k or that a speed camera already in place could not be switched on in response to local concerns.
“It is pleasing to see the community work together to have a minister listen and act on their concerns.
“I hope this stretch of road will be a little safer as a result, and I am all the more determined to continue campaigning for safer roads, safer driving, and justice for the bereaved and injured victims of crashes.”
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “Steve has shown tremendous dedication and resolve to bring about positive outcomes for their constituents and communities across the UK, by fighting for safer roads and a tougher approach to tackling risky, deadly driving.
“Efforts like his are critical in making our roads and communities safe for everyone and preventing needless tragedies that inflict such terrible pain and trauma.”
• For more information on the Justice for Jamie campaign visit www.stopdangerousdrivers.com