There were two specific asks in that letter:
- I would like your officers to place road danger reduction and enforcement of the rules of the road as a much higher priority than it is at present. (For instance: Many drivers continue to seem unaware of Highway Code rules such as 163 and 170, both of which directly affect the safety and perceived safety of cyclists and pedestrians across our borough).
- I would like Wandsworth Police to be supportive of consultations regarding street design and management that the professionals involved (notably highway engineers and public health officers) believe will reduce road danger and help 'rebalance' our streets towards benign modes of transport.
Here's the response from the borough commander to my letter http://t.co/ur32vYo1Xh #Tooting #saferstreets pic.twitter.com/pDgTzLrJUF— Jon Irwin (@Jon_events) May 21, 2015
It appears that the Borough Commander views road safety concerns as different to crime as he would like to see 'road safety concerns discussed alongside crime priorities'. Semantics I know, but I feel that breaking the law whilst driving not only is illegal or criminal, but it places other people in a huge amount of danger. Not entirely sure why they can't be included as a key priority in terms of saving life.
Nonetheless good to see that he has flagged this with the relevant councillors. Well worth raising road safety as a concern at your local SNT meeting, and with your local councillors.
I'd have to dig a bit further to see what the statistics are on victims of violent crime in Wandsworth, when compared to victims of violence on our roads. It would be really surprising to me if what is currently recorded as victims of 'violent crime' even come up to 10% of victims of road violence/collisions.
Now for the good news, the council has been working on a new cycling strategy, and at the next committee meeting (16th June - agenda should be out the week before) we'll see how ambitious it is. From what I've heard it should be a strong proposition.
Also the council is currently consulting on a new air quality strategy. Local air quality is massively impacted by the volume of motor traffic on our streets. There are some interesting proposals in this strategy which if taken forward, and hopefully improved from the consultation process, will allow the council to take stronger action on improving air quality. Part of the actions that are needed are creating safer streets which enable more trips to be walked and cycled than at present.