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Mark Hunter

Mark Hunter MP - "20 is plenty"

June 4, 2009 4:25 PM
As our MP, Mark Hunter will work to get the vital A555 link built.

Mark is calling for the Government to make 20mph zones easier to introduce

Mark Hunter, MP for Cheadle constituency and Shadow Minister for Transport, today questioned the Transport Minister Jim Fitzpatrick MP on the Government's commitment to introducing 20mph zones in residential roads and challenged him on Government action against uninsured drivers.

Mr Hunter spoke on behalf of the Liberal Democrats at the Road Safety debate in the House of Commons and questioned the effectiveness of the proposals put forward in the Government's new Road Safety consultation. Mr Hunter argued that more needed to be done to reduce accidents, deaths and injuries by making it easier for Local Authorities to introduce 20pmh zones in residential areas. He also challenged the Government to tackle the estimated 1.5 million uninsured drivers, who kill four people each week on our roads, by ensuring that the average fine (which has fallen by 13% since 1997) is more than the cost of buying insurance.

During the debate, Mr Hunter also proposed the creation of new Road Accident Investigation Branch (similar to those that exist for air and rail) to research why accidents happen and advise the Government on policy and for the Government to reduce the drink drive level to bring it into line with the rest of the EU.

Commenting after the debate Mr Hunter said: "The Government released this new consultation with their usual fanfare, but in fact there's very little in here which is new or shows any real commitment to tackling the major problems on our roads.

"Speeding is a real problem on local roads with children and the elderly especially at risk from dangerous drivers on local roads. Just last week when I was canvassing in Hazel Grove, people in the Arundel/Lyndhurst Avenue area were telling me about the problem of boy racers and others rat running through the area at excessive speed.

"On a separate issue, the Government has allowed the fines for driving without insurance to fall dramatically, despite the increasing number of uninsured drivers (now 5%, 1.5 million), and the 27,000 road injuries caused by them. We need fines to work as an effective deterrent to driving without insurance by ensuring that the average fine is more than the cost of buying insurance - otherwise, in the current economic climate, we will only see the number of uninsured drivers rise.

"We need real action of road safety, we need policies that tackle the real problems on our roads and proper police enforcement to ensure that rules are upheld, and I will continue to press the Government for this."