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Street Life Winter 2011/12 WWW.LIVINGSTREETS.ORG.UK

Cut traffic speeds We call for 20 mph where we live, work and shop Inside:

The day I hit a child at 20 mph What did the pub say to the bank? Protect a pavement today


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Welcome •

Contents

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CAMPAIGN FOR 20 MPH We were moved when we heard Dr. Nick Foreman’s experience (page 06) of hitting a child whilst driving. Had he been driving faster than 20 mph, the outcome could have been very different. It’s tales like this which further emphasise the need for lower speed limits on our streets. Over the past few months our campaigning for 20 mph speed limits has stepped up a gear and has received support from government. The Secretary of State for Transport has recently announced plans for wider 20 mph speed limits, and our ‘City of 20’ campaign, which calls for 20 mph speed limits on mayorally controlled roads in London where people live, work and shop, has begun to see the support of mayoral candidates.

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03 • Letter from our Chief Executive 04 • Why 20 mph? 05 • Benefits of 20 mph 09 • Living Streets gets the thumbs up in Vancouver 12 • Local Group Profile 13 • Ice Free Pavements 14 • Putting poorly maintained streets in the spotlight

Of course, while safety is a key reason that speeds should be reduced, we mustn’t forget the impact that slower speeds can have on our communities. By lowering speed limits our streets can become social spaces, where it’s quiet enough to hold a conversation and parents are more likely to walk to school with their children. As ever, we need your continued support to take the issues that impact us the most to the people who have the power to make changes. The ‘take action’ section of our website has a number of resources available to help you make changes on your streets, whether it’s to campaign for a reduction in speed limits, or stamping out pavement parking locally. Every action you take shows the government that we have support and will contribute to influencing those in power.

20 mph is the speed in which people feel safe walking and spending time in their neighbourhoods.

Living Streets is the national charity that stands up for pedestrians. With our supporters, we work to create safe, attractive and enjoyable streets, where people want to walk.

Tony Armstrong, Chief Executive Street Life Winter 2011/12

Street Life Winter 2011/12


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• Policy and Campaigning

Policy and Campaigning •

WHY 20 MPH?

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20 MPH Illustrated

While good progress is being made on reducing road casualties across the UK, no one can be satisfied when the equivalent of 60 classrooms of children were killed or seriously injured on our streets last year. Reducing traffic speeds is the single biggest measure that will make our streets safe, vibrant and social places and will significantly reduce the number of pedestrians being injured. Walworth Road, London before the introduction of measures including a 20 mph speed limit…

20 mph can have a huge impact on:

Safety:

If you are hit by a car at 35 mph your chance of survival is 50%. If you are hit by a car at 20 mph your chance of survival leaps to 97%. Parents say that road traffic is one of their major fears for their children. A child pedestrian is three times more likely to die on our roads than in Italy and twice as likely as in France. 20 mph speed limits have the potential to reduce child casualties by up to 70%.

…and after measures had been implemented. In London? Our campaign for 20 mph in the capital has a coalition of 28 organisations behind it. You can show your support by using our online tool to write to the mayoral candidates demonstrating why you think we should have a City of 20. For more information visit www.livingstreets.org. uk/20mph

Street Life Winter 2011/12

Reducing fear of traffic:

Living on a street with fast moving traffic can be intimidating. At 20 mph drivers can make eye contact with pedestrians and react in time, giving people the confidence to enjoy their streets.

Pollution:

Reducing traffic speeds to 20 mph will encourage a shift to walking and cycling. It can also smooth traffic flow and reduce the amount of fuel used by up to 12%. For more information about our 20 mph campaign, including case studies from Living Streets Local Groups campaigning for slower speeds, please visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/20mph. We have had a few near misses with cars driving too fast – it’s enough to put anyone off walking really… Mel, Suffolk. Street Life Winter 2011/12


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Policy and Campaigning •

• Policy and Campaigning

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THE DAY I HIT A CHILD AT 20 MPH People feel that it won’t happen to them and if it did, they think they would be able to brake in time…”. Dr. Nick Foreman

It wasn’t until Dr. Nick Foreman hit a child at 20 mph that he realised the speed limit needs to be cut. The near-fatal collision he was involved in left him with no doubt at the importance of driving at 20 mph, and he now urges others to follow his lead. Opening up about his experience, he penned an article for the British Medical Journal last year which was heavily featured in the national press. Dr Nick Foreman hit a child whilst driving at 20 mph

Street Life Winter 2011/12

Driving to pick up his wife, with his two young stepchildren in the back of the car, there was nothing out of the ordinary about that evening for Nick. Seemingly out of nowhere, running into the road, a child appeared followed by an adult. Before he could even process this, Nick’s reflexes kicked in and he slammed on his brakes, “but the car skidded and I ran into both of them”.

Twenty’s plenty where we live, work and shop

badly bruised, they were both alive. And there is no doubt that this is because of the low speed Nick was travelling at.

Caught in the beam of his headlights, the child’s body was flung into the air. Traffic stopped, and for Nick it felt like time did too.

Nick’s story goes to show that you don’t have to be driving badly to be involved in such an incident. “I would like to reemphasise the fact that things like this do happen and can happen at anytime and you don’t always have time to come to a graceful halt to applause by impressed bystanders.”

But then reality hit, and the enormity of what happened was fast becoming apparent. As the child lay crying in a heap a few yards in front of the car, crowds formed. The adult, who turned out to be the young child’s aunt, had been thrown even further.

Nick continues: “It makes sense that speed limits are lower. I strongly believe we can change people’s attitudes towards speed - I’d like to think that in 20 years’ time we will look back and think it was incredible that we allowed speeding cars within inches of children.”

Although a harrowing experience for all involved, thankfully the victims didn’t sustain any serious injuries. Although

Driving at 20 mph really can save lives. Just ask Dr. Nick Foreman.

People don’t think it will happen to them, but it does

Street Life Winter 2011/12


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• Better Environments

Better Environments •

WHAT DID THE PUB SAY TO THE BANK?

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Living Streets gets the thumbs up in Vancouver

The last few months have been very eventful for the future of walkingfriendly streets – and we have been in the thick of it. The second phase of our campaign for walking friendly neighbourhoods began in July. Fifteen partners, including Friends of the Earth, Sustrans and Guide Dogs, supported us in calling for walkingfriendly neighbourhoods that are safe, sociable, healthy, economically vibrant and easy for everyone to get around. As the government kicked off its review of the issue, hundreds of Living Streets supporters emailed Secretary of State for Communities Eric Pickles to tell him that their lack of a voice when shops and services change their use was no joke. This helped us to secure a meeting with senior officials to put our case forward. Particularly controversial with many local campaigners was how easy it is for a bank to be turned into a betting shop or a pub to become a pawnbroker without planning permission or communities having a say, and we were assured that Ministers wanted to take action on this point.

Street Life Winter 2011/12

Even more controversial has been the National Planning Policy Framework which will make it easier for out-of-town developments to be built but offers little to support access for those on foot. We have lobbied the Department of Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport to make sure that sustainable transport, walkingfriendly neighbourhoods and high quality streets are at the heart of the new policy. We have kept up the heat on the issue and want to see the government come back with significant changes. The next phase of our campaign is to look into street management. Again, support around the country is what will make it work – so make sure you’re signed up to the Living Streets monthly enews to be kept up to date with new campaigns and ways to get involved. www.livingstreets.org.uk/enews

Thimble Mill Brook in Sandwell was featured in the film This year, Living Streets was invited to showcase our work with communities at the annual Walk 21 Conference in Vancouver. Where we had the opportunity to share our new film ‘Our Living Streets’ with delegates. The film follows our work in six diverse neighbourhoods across England, demonstrating how we have worked with local residents, businesses and decision makers to transform walking environments and help communities bring their streets to life.

country to help improve local walking environments and to get more people out and about on foot. Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, our work has seen big changes to walking environments through a combination of communityled action and infrastructure development. Each of the neighbourhoods we have worked in has achieved a Living Streets award to recognise how local communities have brought their streets to life.

Since 2008, Living Streets has worked with community groups up and down the

You can watch the film at www.livingstreets.org.uk/film

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• Policy and Campaigning

Policy and Campaigning •

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PROTECT A PAVEMENT TODAY

Photo: Jon Sturdy, Tendering Considerate Parking Initiative

To help stamp out pavement parking in your area, join the Living Streets campaign and write to your local council or MSP (if you live in Scotland) through our website at: www.livingstreets.org.uk/ pavementparking If you want to take more action in your area you can also download resources including posters, online banners and template campaign letters to get you started.

Please Park with consideration

Nobody should be forced out into the road

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Living Streets, the national charity that stands up for pedestrians, can help you protect your pavement www.livingstreets.org.uk Living Streets (The Pedestrians Association) is a Registered Charity No. 1108448 (England and Wales) and SC039808 (Scotland), Company Limited by Guarantee (England & Wales), Company Registration No. 5368409. PC11

Pavement parking means people are forced into the road Pavements up and down the country are under threat from inconsiderate pavement parkers. Here at Living Streets we think we should all be able to walk on pavements without worrying about vehicles blocking our way. That’s why we’ve launched a campaign asking people to write to their local council or MSP calling for an end to pavement parking.

What’s the problem?

Vehicles parked on pavements force people with pushchairs or children to walk unsafely in the road. And older people and those in wheelchairs can feel worried about leaving their homes as they feel unsafe walking down their own street.

Street Life Winter 2011/12

Our pavements are literally cracking under the pressure. Councils are spending tens of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money each year repairing pavements damaged by pavement parkers.

Who can solve it?

Local councils have powers to restrict or prohibit pavement parking on individual streets. This year Norman Baker, the Minister responsible, has written to local councils to make it clear that they have the power to prevent pavement parking across their area using new signs designed for an area wide ban. And in Scotland Joe Fitzpatrick MSP is currently developing legislation on pavement and dropped kerb parking in the Scottish Parliament.

Street Life Winter 2011/12


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• Local Campaigning

Policy and Campaigning •

LOCAL GROUP PROFILE: WANDSWORTH We rely on Local Groups to campaign on issues that are most important to their community. They are vital to bring about local change and giving a voice to our national campaigns. Local Group campaigner Susie Morrow tells us more about her work in Wandsworth.

How did the Wandsworth Living Streets Group come about?

I had noticed that there had been some interest locally in transport-related aspects of quality of life and sustainability. Robert Molteno (an active campaigner) provided the impetus to set up the group; I’d been thinking about this for some time but he gave the ‘push’!

What inspired you to become involved?

I have had a longstanding interest in the liveability of our streets and the importance of giving people meaningful choice in how they move around, and inhabit our streets and public realm generally.

What are you currently campaigning on?

Our main campaign is a joint local campaign with other local partners on 20 mph. A key tool we are using is a petition asking the council to carry out a boroughwide consultation on 20 mph in residential and shopping streets. Although they haven’t immediately agreed, 20 mph is now certainly on their agenda. It’s been a consciousness raising exercise; it takes a long time and a lot of campaigning for people to come to understand the many issues around 20 mph.

What tips would you give someone who was interested in setting up their own Living Streets group?

I’d recommend people focus on specific local issues where small, especially lowcost, changes could make a meaningful difference to lots of people. Pay lots of attention to getting media-savvy people on board who can use social media. Twitter seems to be a good way of getting messages out quickly! To find out if there is a Local Group in your area, or to set one up, please visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/localgroups

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ICE FREE PAVEMENTS Snow and ice cause problems across the country each winter. While our roads are routinely gritted, our pavements are often neglected, turning them into dangerous ice rinks for pedestrians. In 2009/10 there were over 16,000 emergency hospital admissions due to falls on snow or ice, costing an estimated £42 million.

I found the pavements to be extremely dangerous during the snowy spell last year. The spending cuts currently taking place only add to the concern that gritting pavements will not be seen as a priority. Maureen, Doncaster

Icy pavements can cause problems for anyone who wants to walk to the shops, to work, or even to the local bus stop. But if you’re older, disabled or have a pushchair, these dangerous conditions can make it almost impossible to venture outdoors. This year, we’re calling for local authorities to work together with the local community to make sure that no one is isolated or vulnerable because of the weather. We want to see a strong commitment to gritting pavements, coordinating volunteer ice wardens to keep communities moving, and re-deploying council staff who are unable to do their usual jobs in the icy weather. To keep up to date with our campaign, please visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/icy

Icy pavements can make people feel isolated

Susie Morrow campaigns in Wandsworth Street Life Winter 2011/12

Street Life Winter 2011/12


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• Support Us

Putting poorly maintained streets in the spotlight

Give a gift To give your gift of better streets, please fill in your details and all relevant sections of this form and return it to: Freepost RSAY BXAK KSBK, Living Streets (The Pedestrians Assoc.), 4th Floor, Universal House, 88-94 Wentworth Street, London E1 7SA. Your name: Your address:

As we all know poorly maintained and managed streets and pavements are unattractive, inconvenient and even dangerous for people on foot. People, particularly the most vulnerable, can fall and injure themselves if streets and pavements aren’t properly looked after.

It should be a simple thing to get right, but far too often government and local authorities aren’t doing enough. We want to ensure government sits up and listens to local people about what they can do better. Living Streets is calling for an end to poorly maintained and managed streets. Our new campaign is planned for 2012 and will campaign for a more coordinated and proactive approach to street management at both a national and local level. To make an impact we have to reach the right decision makers with a clear and informed message. And we need your help to do this. We need to raise £3,000 to carry out a survey and expert research. We will use the results to produce a policy paper and campaign toolkit. The policy paper will help to make our case at a national and local level and the campaign toolkit will enable people to take action in their area. We can only do this crucial work with your help. To give a one off donation of £10, or whatever you can afford, please use the form on the next page or visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/donate You can also donate by texting Walk33 followed by £10 (or any amount you want to give) to 70070. To say a big thank you we will send every donor a copy of the policy paper summary or an online link if preferred. If we raise more than £3,000, your donation will go towards future campaigning on street management issues.

Street Life Winter 2011/12

Postcode: Tel: Email: We’d like to email you with details of events, campaign updates and opportunities for you to be involved with Living Streets’ work, ideas for improving your community and making urban walking better. If you don’t want to hear from us, please tick here Make a one-off gift of £___________ by credit/debit card or cheque: Card type:

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Make your gift worth more If you’re a UK taxpayer, we can reclaim approximately 28p from the taxman for every £1 you give. Yes, I am UK taxpayer and I would like to treat all subscriptions and donations I have made as Gift Aid donations until I notify you otherwise. Signed: Date: To qualify for Gift Aid, what you pay in UK income tax or capital gains tax must at least equal the amount Living Streets will claim in the tax year. Please tell us how you would like to receive the policy paper summary: By email

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This newsletter is printed on FSC paper. Living Streets (The Pedestrians Association) is a Registered Charity No. 1108448 (England and Wales) and SC039808 (Scotland), Company Limited by Guarantee (England & Wales), Company Registration No. 5368409. Registered office 4th Floor, Universal House, 88-94 Wentworth Street. E1 7SA


Dates for your diary Mince pie calculator, December 2011 Christmas is just around the corner and to celebrate all things festive we are pleased to be launching our mince pie calculator once more! Simply visit www.livingstreets.org.uk/mincepiecalculator at the beginning of December and see how many mince pies you’ve earned by walking’. It’s a fun way to keep track of your walking levels and we’ll give you plenty of encouragement to fit even more walking in!

National Walking Month, May 2012 After the success of the first ever National Walking Month, we are pleased to announce that in May 2012, it will be back and bigger than before. Living Streets HQ is a hive of activity as we plan exciting new ventures to celebrate the month, so make sure you are signed up to our monthly enews to receive regular updates. www.livingstreets.org.uk/enews

Supporters’ Conference, June 2012 Living Streets will be holding a free conference for all those who share our passion for safe, attractive, enjoyable streets where people want to walk. The day is set to be interactive with workshops to help your campaigning of issues which affect us daily. To register your interest, please send an email to info@livingstreets.org.uk.


Street Life Autumn/Winter 2011